Colorado Court Rules that Bayada Home Health Aides Are Entitled to Overtime Pay

A Colorado federal District Court recently ruled that home health aides employed by Bayada Health Care, Inc. are entitled to overtime pay.  Click here to read the Court’s Order.  Bayada was only paying its Colorado home health aides, most of whom were CNAs, their regular hourly wage or “straight time rate” for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

The Court rejected Bayada’s argument that a “companionship exemption” under Colorado overtime law did not require it to pay overtime compensation to home health aides.  Because the home health aides were employed by Bayada, and not by “households or family members,” Bayada was required to pay full one and one-half times the regular pay rate to its home health aides.  The services provided by Bayada include in-home nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, and other assistive services to clients with cognitive difficulties, physical disabilities, and chronic illnesses.  

Federal Judge Grants Final Approval to Class Action Settlement in Home Health Aide Overtime Rights Lawsuit against Comfort Keepers Franchisee.

On October 5, 2015, the Federal Court in Scranton Pennsylvania gave final approval to the settlement of a class action lawsuit that our law firms brought on behalf of Home Health Aides who alleged that they are entitled to time and one-half overtime pay under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.  The case is called Morris v. MD Enterprises LLC, 3:15-cv-00018-ARC, and a copy of the judge’s order can be found by clicking here.  The defendant in the lawsuit owned and operated approximately five Comfort Keepers franchises in Northeastern Pennsylvania, which includes cities such as Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazleton.

Prior to December 14, 2014, the Comfort Keepers franchise paid Plaintiff and other home health aides straight-time compensation – rather than time and one-half overtime premium compensation – for hours worked over 40 per week.  In the lawsuit, we argued on behalf of a class of Home Health Aides that Pennsylvania law required home health operators to pay their aides extra overtime pay when they work over 40 hours in a week.  In making this argument, we relied on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Bayada Nurses, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 8 A.3d 866 (Pa. 2010).

The settlement approved by the judge creates a fund of $145,000 to be paid to the home health aides and our law firm.  After reductions for fees and expenses, the home health aides will share in $96,000.  This $96,000 payout equals approximately 75% of the total unpaid overtime wages during the class period.

Federal Court Conditionally Certifies Fee Per Visit Lawsuit Filed Against Intrepid U.S.A., Inc.

On September 1, 2015, a federal judge conditionally certified a collective action lawsuit filed by a former nurse against Intrepid Healthcare U.S.A. Inc. that alleges skilled home health workers were improperly denied overtime. The Court ordered that notice of the lawsuit be sent to former and current skilled home health care workers who were employed by Intrepid from January 23, 2012 through the present. The Court has taken no position on the merits of the asserted claims. 

If you would like to discuss this case, please call us.