Kindred Attempts to Settle Wage, Meal Break Claims with $12M Deal

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A $12 million settlement is on the table to settle allegations that Kindred Healthcare Operating Inc. and its subsidiary Gentiva Certified Healthcare Corp. violated California labor law. The company allegedly failed to provide workers with minimum wage and required meal breaks. The proposed class of approximately 1,600 workers were employed by the company. The class members asked a California federal judge to grant preliminary approval of the $12 million agreement with the health care company and its subsidiaries. This would result in an average $5,415 recovery per class member after payments were deducted for the state and other associated fees related to the settlement.

The proposed class’ legal counsel seeks $3 million in fees and $125,00 in costs. The lead plaintiff’s incentive award portion of the settlement would total $20,000.

Also pulled from the settlement would be $150,000 payment for the claims under the California Labor Code Private Attorney General Act of 2004 allowing private citizens to sue for civil penalties on their own behalf and on behalf of other employees and the state. 75% of the payment will go to California. The rest would be distributed to appropriate class members.

Employees involved in the suit requested that the federal judge certify them for settlement. Included in the proposed class are: clinicians or piece rate workers employed by the health care company and their subsidiaries after August 24th, 2012 whose job duties included providing skilled home care. The employees argued that certification was appropriate because the proposed class was numerous, and the legal questions involved were common to all included class members.

The original suit was filed in August 2016 with Cashon alleging that Kindred and Gentiva failed to pay appropriate wages and overtime and did not provide required meal breaks, rest periods or wage statements. The companies claim they were involved in no violations and that they were in compliance with labor laws. Early mediation occurred in April 2017 but did not result in resolution. After discovery, parties engaged in a second bout of mediation in November 2017 which resulted in the proposed settlement.

If you have questions about overtime laws in California or if you need to know what it takes to gain class certification, please get in touch with the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.