Long-term care is a multibillion-dollar industry that has enabled some operators to become wealthy -- while exploiting their workers.
Across the country, scores of caregivers—some of them on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week—earn a pittance to tend to the elderly in residential houses refurbished as care facilities, according to an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
The growth of board-and-care homes in neighborhoods across the United States is tied to medical advances enabling aging Baby Boomers to live longer despite debilitating illnesses while requiring the help of caregivers. There were about 29,000 residential care communities in the United States in 2016, according to the most recent federal figures available. About two-thirds are smaller facilities with four to 25 residents.
Some caregivers at these facilities often effectively earn $2 to $3.50 per hour. Some say they end up working much longer than they signed up for or because they don’t know about minimum wage laws. Many report working from dawn to dusk, and at night they have to wake to change adult diapers, dispense painkillers and shift the bedridden every two hours to thwart bedsores.
The search below looks at national wage investigations over the last decade. Search by one or multiple criteria, including employer name, state, repeat or willful violations, amount of back wages paid and number of violations. Click on the 'Details' link for more information about the case.
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Data looks at federal data where investigations ended in 2009 or later, and does not include pending cases.
Data compiled by The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Associated press. The data does not include the exact date(s) when the wage theft occurred. The findings start date and findings end date represent the investigative period that was examined by the US Department of Labor.