Practice Area: Wage & Overtime
Outcome: $1.75 million settlement
In early 2017, after more than two years of hard-fought litigation, we reached a $1.75 million settlement on behalf of home health workers seeking overtime wages owed to them from Intrepid U.S.A., Inc. The case was filed on behalf of Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Licensed Practical Nurses who worked more than 40 hours per week without receiving overtime pay. As alleged in the lawsuit, the company’s “fee per visit” payment system violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because the company allowed its employees to perform unrecorded additional work at the end or beginning of the day such as medical charting. Over 550 workers ultimately joined the case.
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 and Physical Therapist Assistants – 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.