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.