According to KQED Public Radio, a group of professional caregivers has filed a class action lawsuit in California on behalf of hundreds of workers throughout the state.
The lawsuit says that Kindred Healthcare and its affiliates, shorted employees on wages, overtime and breaks.
One employee, Ginger Rogers, said that Kindred Healthcare hired her in 2012 to look after a patient at a skilled nursing facility in Castro Valley. Rogers told KQED that on one occasion, when she asked her employer if she could leave her patient’s bedside to take a lunch break, she was told no and that certain breaks were not allowed.
The lawsuit was filed in Alameda Superior Court. It contains various complaints about violations under California’s labor employment laws. It targets laws that mandate two 10-minute breaks and a 30-minute meal break for every five hours of work.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that the way workers are paid violates labor laws. Attorneys for the plaintiffs’ allege that Kindred Healthcare pays its caregivers a flat sum for a 12-hour shift or a 24-hour shift. For some workers, that comes out to $5.83 an hour, which is below the state minimum wage.
The lawsuit also says that caregivers who work at nursing homes or assisted living facilities in California are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked more than eight in a day and more than 40 in a week, but supervisors at Kindred allegedly denied overtime pay.
Kindred did not respond to requests for a comment from KQED. Many in the legal community are hoping that the lawsuit helps set precedence nationwide for caregiver compensation.
I Am a Healthcare Worker Owed Back Pay. Can I Sue?
Wage and overtime disputes often result due to breaks that were not given, as employees are forced to work without payment. Additionally, state laws mandate minimum wages and overtime payment methods, which are required to be followed.
If you believe your employer is not paying you the wages you legally deserve, our Los Angeles wage dispute attorneys may be able to help you seek compensation. We are aware of the legal complexities involved in overtime law and can help you determine if you are eligible to seek damages from your employer. Call us today to discuss your options.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys