Haslett, Mich. (WLNS) — The owner of a Haslett assisted living facility has been ordered by a federal court to pay back more than $15,000 in back wages and damages to several healthcare workers.

The money is being paid to six workers, whom Safe Haven Assisted Living of Haslett failed to pay during meal breaks when their jobs forced them to work during or through the breaks, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Action was taken against the facility after a payroll review that inspected records from Aug. 15, 2020 through Dec. 12, 2021 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Federal investigators found the facility and its owner Tamesha Porter automatically deducted meal breaks from employees’ paid time and did not pay the affected workers when they worked during their breaks.

These actions were violations of the overtime provisions included in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Safe Haven Assisted Living of Haslett will also pay a civil money penalty of $3,618.

Investigators discovered the facility changed its policy and began deducting the meal breaks from employees’ pay beginning in August 2020, shortly after Porter purchased Safe Haven Assisted Living of Haslett.

It was determined that Porter ignored the notes left by managers on the employees’ timecards to ensure they were paid fully for working through their break.

“The Wage and Hour Division encourages workers to contact us if they believe their employer is not paying them all of their earned wages,” said Grand Rapids Wage and Hour District Director Mary O’Rourke.