- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division
Media Contact for Worcester Home Health Company to Pay More Than $272,000 for Failing to Pay Workers Travel Time
Boston — A Worcester home health company and its owners will pay more than $272,000 in restitution and penalties, including compensation for 240 current and former employees, to settle allegations that the company failed to pay workers travel time and keep true and accurate payroll records, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The AG’s Office began its investigation into Ace Medical Services Inc. and owners, Michael Chege and Raphael Bibiu, after receiving a complaint from an Ace employee alleging employees were not paid for all hours worked, particularly for time that home health aides spent travelling between scheduled patient visits throughout a single workday. Many of Ace’s home health aides visited two or more patients in a given workday, and the complaint alleged these workers were only paid for time spent with patients.
“Home health care workers provide essential services to elders and people with disabilities and should be paid for their work,” said AG Healey. “I’m pleased that hundreds of current and former employees will receive restitution through this settlement, and that the company has come into compliance with state law.”
The AG’s investigation also found that Ace routinely failed to track all hours worked and all wages paid to their home health aide employees.
The AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, earned sick time and overtime laws.
The Fair Labor Division has found numerous wage and hour violations in the home healthcare industry. In November 2017, Lawrence-based home health care company Maestro-Connections Home Health Systems LLC agreed to pay more than $1 million in restitution and penalties after failing to pay overtime to more than 600 home health aides and failing to keep accurate payroll records. The privately-held home care company Petra Health Care LLC in North Chelmsford paid more than $217,000 in September 2018, including restitution to 175 employees, in a settlement with the AG’s Office over failure to pay overtime and travel time for three years.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/wagetheft. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Drew Cahill and Investigator Leah Lucier of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.