Bohrer Brady, LLC Demands Jury Trial in Aftermath of Court Ruling That Confirms Third Party Employers Must Pay Home Health Workers Overtime

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On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, LLC filed a class and collective action complaint in the United States District Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship services for the elderly, ill or disabled and on behalf of all current or former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge Family Companies (CT), Inc. since January 1, 2015, alleging these companies failed to pay federally mandated overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 a week as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, LLC filed a class and collective action complaint in the United States District Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship services for the elderly, ill or disabled and on behalf of all current or former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge Family Companies (CT), Inc. since January 1, 2015, alleging these companies failed to pay federally mandated overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 a week as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The attorneys at Bohrer Brady, LLC have requested a jury trial seeking unpaid overtime in the class action complaint “Daverlynn Kinkead, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge Family Companies (CT), Inc.” Case No. 3:15-1637, pending in the United States District Court of Connecticut.

As stated in the complaint filed earlier this month, Kinkead’s (Plaintiff) hours varied from week to week in 2015, but she regularly worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Kinkead’s pay records show at least some overtime hours but she seeks to recover all unpaid back wages, attorneys’ fees, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the highest rates allowed by law and further relief as may be necessary and appropriate for self and other similarly situated employees. She is aware of other current and former employees of Defendants who were subject to the same payroll practice.

There are over 100,000 businesses employing over 2 million home care workers that provide home care to the elderly, infirm and severely injured or disabled. Since 1975, home health workers were exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA. Recognizing that the nature of health care for elderly, ill and disabled patients has, over the years, shifted from hospital or facility to home based, the U.S. Department of Labor implemented a rule that was to be effective on January 1, 2015, that changed this exemption (http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm). The new rule eliminated the home health care or companionship services exemption for those home health workers who are paid by a third party company. However, the home health industry filed a lawsuit, No. 15-5018 (D.C. Cir.), claiming the DOL exceeded its authority and asked the court to prevent the DOL from enforcing the new rule.

In December 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Home Care Association of America v. Weil, No. 15-5018 (D.C. Cir.), issued an injunction that prevented this rule from taking effect. However, on August 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed the district court’s ruling and held that the new DOL regulation was effective and should be implemented. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to stay this ruling, although an appeal to the Supreme Court may still be taken.

According to Phil Bohrer, “This ruling now means that all home health workers who are employed by third party employers and provide any type of in-home companionship, health, assistance, or domestic services, or who assist with the physical taking of medications, or medical care, must now be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40. This decision changes the way home health workers are paid which has been in effect for over 40 years.

“Many home health workers who work for companies and are not paid directly by patients or families are now entitled to receive unpaid overtime back to January 1, 2015, the date the new regulation was effective. Some companies may start paying overtime now but are not paying past due overtime back to January 1, 2015. Although the DOL will not begin enforcement of the new regulation until 30 days after the Home Care Association of America decision is final, there was no ruling delaying the effective date past January 1, 2015.”

For more information, please visit BohrerBrady.com or call 1-800-876-3911.

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