Unpaid Overtime for Home Health and LVN Nurses in Texas
Texas Labor Laws for Home Care Workers and LVNs
Overtime lawsuits filed by home health and licensed vocational nurses have risen in recent years as they stand up and demand fair pay for their hours. Despite this action, many healthcare employers continue to underpay and misclassify their workers, frequently leading to unpaid overtime wages. If you are one of many LVNs or home health workers with unpaid wages, you may be able to file an unpaid overtime claim. Maybe you’ve been wondering, “Do LVN nurses get overtime in Texas?” You’re in the right place for answers.
If you are a home healthcare worker or a licensed vocational nurse and believe you are being deprived of the overtime wages you have earned, the experienced unpaid overtime attorneys at the Leichter Law Firm are here to help. We know how many employers in the healthcare industry attempt to withhold wages from their hard-working employees, and we want to put our experience to work for you.
Our employment law specialists represent registered nurses (RNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and home health aides in unpaid overtime cases. To schedule a free consultation with our minimum wage and overtime lawyers, call our office at (512) 495-9995 today.
What Are Home Health Nurses?
Home health nurses are those who work with patients in their homes rather than in a hospital or clinical setting. Many home health providers are registered nurses, but they tend to have more freedom and autonomy. They can make their own schedules and make a lasting impact on the patients they work with. Some home health nurses work with one patient for a long time or with multiple patients daily.
Depending on one’s credentials, home health nurses have three different tiers. These tiers are registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and certified nursing assistants. The tier you fall under defines your job duties, including the following.
- Assessing patient needs
- Developing a plan of care with the doctor
- Overseeing and coordinating the plan with the patient, the family, and all support staff
- Evaluating and monitoring the patient’s response to medication, treatment, and healing
- Overseeing case management
- Performing physical assessments of patients
- Helping with ADLs (activities of daily living)
- Taking vitals, getting lab samples, and tending to wounds
- Administering medication
- Monitoring patients and reporting to RN
- Directing CNAs
- Performing task-based care
- Administering medications
- Assisting with ADLs
- Taking vitals and caring for wounds
- Assisting with ADLs
- Performing nursing care tasks
- Reporting concerns to LVN or RN
What Is a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)?
Licensed vocational nurses, also called licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in other states, are nurses who provide basic patient care. They typically work under registered nurses or other more advanced healthcare employees. LVNs and LPNs are the same in all ways except where the employees work. In Texas, we use the term LVN. Other states use the term LPN.
Many LVNs work in specific healthcare settings, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and even private homes. Some even work as travel nurses, frequently changing locations to ease the burden of nursing shortages. The most common job duties for LVNs include the following.
- Wound care
- Checking vital signs
- Collecting samples
- Inserting catheters
- Keeping patient records
- Helping patients with ADLs
- Reporting to RNs and doctors about patient status
- Supervising nursing assistants
What Are the Minimum Wages for LVNs and Home Health Workers?
In Texas, the minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage, $7.25. Therefore the minimum wage requirements for home health nurses and LVNs are $7.25 per hour. Generally speaking, however, both occupations make much more on average. Home health workers make an average of $57, while LVNs make an average of $27 in hourly wages.
Are Home Health Nurses and LVNs Eligible for Overtime in Texas?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all employees must make at least the federal minimum wage. According to the Department of Labor, “most home care workers must be paid at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay.”
For example, let’s say you are a home health nurse hired through an agency. Both the agency and the third-party employer may qualify as your employers. As an employee, you are entitled to overtime wages.
If you were denied overtime pay in this situation, you have the right to file an unpaid wages claim. This also applies to domestic service workers and direct care workers.
Many registered nurses cannot receive overtime pay because of their status as “learned professionals.” However, LVNs are not considered “learned professionals.” Because of this simple detail, LVNs are generally entitled to overtime pay.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for Overtime?
As an LVN or home health nurse, it’s important to understand when you are entitled to overtime wages. Generally, LVNs are almost always entitled to overtime pay. If you are unsure whether you qualify for overtime pay, we strongly suggest speaking with an attorney about your options. Our professionals will evaluate the facts of your case and give you sound legal advice on how to proceed.
Common Ways Nurses are Deprived of Overtime Wages
There are several ways employers deprive nurses and other similar healthcare employees of their hard-earned wages, including, but not limited to the following.
- Requiring workers to work during meal breaks
- Taking time out of an employee’s schedule even if they do not take a meal break
- Failing to pay nurses for work performed before and/or after their shift
- Misclassifying employees as “exempt” from overtime pay
- Paying a fixed rate per visit without an increase for hours worked over 40 in a week
- Failure to pay for travel time between visits
- Unpaid meetings, training, and seminars
- Requiring nurses to chart after hours of off the clock
In the healthcare industry, many home health workers and other nursing staff are considered “non-exempt” employees who are therefore entitled to time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 hours in one week. This includes the following.
- Nurses and workers who are paid an hourly wage (some exclusions may apply)
- Almost all licensed vocational nurses (LVNs)
- Home health, nursing home, and assisted living facility employees who make an hourly wage
While exclusions and exceptions can apply to all of the above workers, many employers wrongfully apply these exceptions to workers. They do this to avoid overtime costs, but these actions are illegal.
What Should I Do If I Believe I Am Being Cheated on My Wages?
If you believe you are being cheated of your wages, you should seek evidence and documentation of the crime. Then, employ a skilled nursing overtime attorney to help you gather evidence and build a case. You and your attorney can file a complaint internally with the company or directly under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
FLSA laws protect employees from retaliation for making a claim. Therefore, there is no threat of losing your job for trying to obtain the wages you deserve. If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified Austin unpaid overtime attorneys, please contact Leichter Law Firm PC at (512) 495-9995 today.
Talk to a Texas Unpaid Overtime Lawyer to Learn More
At the Leichter Law Firm PC, we know how hard you work. We believe you are entitled to the full and fair compensation you deserve. Nurses, LVNs, home health workers, and similar health care employees are often protected by overtime laws. If you believe your overtime wages have been wrongly withheld, our attorneys are ready to help. Call us today at (512) 495-9995 to schedule your free consultation with a board-certified labor and employment law specialist.