An in-home healthcare provider based in New York City recently agreed to pay out $12.5 million to settle allegations it systematically denied workers their overtime pay, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
That provider, Preferred Home Care of New York (a subsidiary of Assistcare Home Health Services), paid $6.5 million to a fund paid out to class members, and an additional $6 million for “ongoing injunctive relief.”
Workers who joined to file the lawsuit claimed Preferred Home Care of New York did not pay workers their overtime, and violated the FLSA in its failure to compensate them for all of the hours they worked, including time they spent traveling in between clients on the job.
Under the FLSA, employers are required to pay nonexempt workers overtime pay of time and a half their regular rate of pay for any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour work week.
Overtime violations are unfortunately common, but when workers blow the whistle on these violations, the settlements can be significant. The right to maintain reasonable work hours and get paid extra for overtime pay is one of the most basic labor rights American workers have, and courts take these rights extremely seriously.
The FLSA does have some stipulations regarding travel time, which is why it was important for the workers to bring up the time spent traveling between clients. Employers are not required to compensate employees for the time they travel between home and the workplace, but the law does require employers to compensate workers for time spent traveling as part of their duties, such as from job site to job site. Traveling between home care patients would certainly apply as qualified working hours.
For more information about the steps you should take if you believe your labor rights have been violated by your employer, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.