Career After CNA Training
The New York Times recently published an investigation directed toward unfair and illegal practices when it comes to medical and health care facilities paying their CNAs. If you’ve completed your CNA training, are working in the field, and have concerns about ethical pay practices, here’s a breakdown of signs to look for.
After CNA Training – Being Treated Fairly
There are many cases against improper pay practices for CNAs, especially those who are fresh out of CNA training, younger, and willing to do just about anything to keep their first job. One such case involves the St. Louis Labor Department and their case against area hospitals, medical centers, and clinics operated by SSM Health Care.
According to reports, the Labor Department allegedly recovered close to $2 million dollars in back wages for thousands of employees.
Another case involves Partners Health Care System of Boston, which had to repay over $2.5 million dollars in overtime in order to close a pending lawsuit involving 700 employees who allegedly had their rights violated according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
So, what’s happening here? How are these companies taking money out of the pockets of CNAs and how can you make sure you are not being mistreated after CNA training?
Unfair Handling of Wages? What to Look for After CNA Training
There are many creative ways unscrupulous employers use to avoid paying proper wages to CNAs, especially those who are working their first job just after CNA training. Here are a few things to be aware of:
- If you have worked over 40 hours in any given week, you are then eligible for overtime pay, which should be the equivalent of your hourly rate plus one half of your hourly rate. For example, let’s say your hourly rate is $10 per hour. Once you’ve worked 40 hours and are cross over that line to the 41st hour you should be compensated by earning $15 per hour for the 41st hour and any amount of time above that. If your employer will only pay you for 40 hours and tries to carry over any over time to the following week to avoid paying overtime, this is illegal.
- If your new employer after CNA training simply states, “We don’t pay overtime,” and pays regular hourly rates for anything over 40 hours, this is illegal and can be reported to the Department of Labor.
- If your time card is altered in any way or if your employer clocks you out at 40 hours and has you continue to work off the clock, this is illegal. Your employer may use a variety of tactics, including threatening your job or stating that you should have completed those tasks during your regular work hours, so now you’ll have to do them off the clock. Any of these should be reported to the Department of Labor.
After CNA training, you are ready for a rewarding and mutually beneficial work environment. You have rights as an employee. Even if this is your first job after CNA training and you don’t want to lose it, don’t let that be an excuse for allowing yourself to be bullied.
By standing up for yourself, you’ll be standing up for all CNAs who are being mistreated. By raising awareness on this topic, we can ensure that all CNAs, especially those right out of CNA training are treated fairly.
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