Practice Area: Wage & Overtime
Outcome: $3 million settlement
In 2014, we filed, and then quickly settled for $3 million, a collective and class action complaint on behalf of nurses and therapists seeking unpaid overtime wages against Guardian Home Care Holdings, Inc. and its parent company Accentcare, Inc. The plaintiff, a registered nurse, alleged that the company’s “fee per visit” payment system violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because she, along with hundreds of other nurses and therapists, were paid both fees for each visit and by the hour for other work such as meetings and administrative tasks.
The fee per visit model for paying nurses and therapists is problematic for a number of reasons. First, courts have held that paying both fees for visits and by the hour for other work destroys any exemptions that nurses or therapists might have from the overtime laws. Agencies often tell their employees that the visit fee is intended to cover all time spent scheduling, driving, and charting and as a result these workers perform this work with no expectation of any additional pay, even if they work more than 40 hours per week. However, as this case demonstrates, denying overtime to RNs, occupational therapists, physical therapists, or other similar professionals is often improper. Moreover, many other types of nurses and therapists – such as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) – are almost always entitled to overtime in any week they work over 40 hours, regardless of how they are paid (fees, salaries, etc.).
Today, we have several cases on file all over the country on behalf of home health workers alleging that these workers were improperly denied overtime compensation for their work.
To learn more about our Wage & Overtime practice group, click here.