Employees of in-home patient care provider Residential Home Health have filed a class action lawsuit alleging the company misclassified them as exempt workers to avoid federal and state wage and overtime requirements.
The recently filed suit claims that Residential Home Health, LLC, Residential Healthcare Group, and Residential Home Health Illinois, LLC instituted and adhered to a complicated compensation system that paid the workers for certain activities but not others, in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law. The plaintiffs include clinicians employed as registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and other similarly titled positions.
According to the complaint, the defendants maintained a corporate policy and practice of paying clinicians under a “per visit” structure that excluded payment for necessary work performed outside of the time spent in patients’ homes. These job-related tasks included:
- Completing patient visit documentation (“charting”),
- Preparing for patient visits,
- Communicating with patients, physicians, and other medical care providers,
- Travel time between patients’ homes,
- Coordinating care with other health providers,
- Ordering equipment and supplies, and,
- For registered nurses, time spent dropping off lab specimens and following up on lab work.
Along with “per visit” work, the time spent on these activities regularly surpassed 40 hours each week, overtime for which the clinicians should have been paid time-and-a-half. They assert that the defendants intentionally misclassified them as exempt employees to circumvent state and federal wage and overtime requirements.
The collective action was filed in an Illinois federal court, and could potentially include several hundred home health care workers affected by Residential Home Health’s alleged wrongdoing.
Instances of wage theft in the home health care industry are so common that the U.S. Department of Labor has a web page with rules that apply to home health care agencies and their responsibility to properly compensate employees.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are interviewing Residential Home Health clinicians – registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and others – who suspect they have been wrongfully denied their hard-earned pay. Please contact us today!