Health workers were granted the requested final approval on an overtime settlement in their class action lawsuit against the Defendant Health Resource Solutions (HRS). Allegations were made that HRS failed to pay legally required overtime to healthcare workers in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Sources report that the healthcare company misclassified a group of clinicians, registered nurses, occupational therapists, and other therapists, categorizing them as exempt from overtime pay. The judge noted that the $900,000 overtime settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate. He also made note that it seemed in the best interest of the class members who were settling.
The settlement would include covering:
· $7,878 – settlement administration expenses
· $300,000 – attorney’s fees
· $7,500 – to the class representative
· 70 additional claims that were filed prior to the parties’ cutoff on April 2nd.
The class representative is plaintiff Monique B. One class member opted out of the deal with no other objections made. The plaintiff and the Class allege that HRS was in violation of both the FLSA and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law by misclassifying their employees that work with patients on a homecare basis as exempt. The settlement will end the litigation brought by the hybrid class and the collection action brought forth by Monique against HRS and co-owners of HRS, Robert M. and Glenn S.
The allegations in the original complaint indicated that the company, HRS, and the company’s owners knew that the employees being classified as exempt did not actually meet the necessary qualifications for the classification. In order for an employee to be legally classified as exempt, they must demonstrate the worker performs job duties that meet certain criteria and that they received compensation on either a salary or fee basis. According to the complaint, HRS created its own pay structure for workers.
· Office time and staff meetings were compensated on an hourly basis.
· Advancement was set for visits’ pay.
· Travel time, scheduling/coordinating patient care with providers/speaking to patients about scheduling was not compensated.
· Additionally, overtime weeks to which employees worked but were not compensated totaled 10,000 employee weeks.
The allegedly misclassified employees included 175 people. It has been reported that HRS will first cover employee claims and any settlement money remaining will be retained.
If you are considering filing an FLSA class action lawsuit or if you have questions about being misclassified, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.