Bay Area caregivers have filed a class-action against the Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare and subsidiary companies for wage and hour law violations. According to reports, workers were denied overtime and breaks in violation of California labor laws. The defendant healthcare services company offers services providing care to the elderly, ill, and disabled throughout the Bay Area. The employee caregivers were contracted out by the healthcare company to work in assisted living and rehabilitation facilities.
Due to the nature of around the clock care necessary for many patients, workers had 12 to 24- hour shifts. According to the lawsuit, many of the workers were forced to complete these shifts without breaks. Our Orange County wage and hour law attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic and informed advocacy to protect the rights of our clients. We take a comprehensive approach to understand the facts of every case and will pursue every available opportunity to bring justice to California workers. In addition to providing counsel and advocacy in employment law disputes, our firm is committed to raising awareness to prevent future wage and hour law violations.
According to media coverage of the class action, employee caretakers were required to complete 12 to 24-hour shifts without getting paid overtime and without breaks for rest or to eat meals. In addition to working at residential facilities and assisted living centers, the caretakers were also sent to private residences. Under these working conditions, employees were paid only a flat-rate that amounted to less that minimum wage. The class representatives and lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit are experienced caregiver who were responsible for performing 12-hour shifts, seven days a week in private residences and facilities.
For many workers, the conditions were deplorable. Workers said they barely had time for bathroom breaks, but were never given breaks for fresh air, rest, or food. They never got 15-minute breaks or lunch breaks. With the costs of medical care going up, many nursing home and other care facilities are cutting back on staff, increasing the demands for those on shift. In addition to lowered standards of care, many of these care facilities and contractors are in violation of California labor laws. In a desperate economy, many employees continue to perform their jobs without speaking up, even if they know that the wage and hour violations are against the law.
Plaintiffs in this case are urging changes in the healthcare profession. The lawsuit has been filed by the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center on behalf of caregivers at Kindred Health Care. Any worker who has been employed by Kindred over the past four years may be eligible to join the class. The company has not made a statement denying or confirming allegations. According to the complaint, there have been over 300 caregivers who worked for the defendant company in private homes and facilities throughout the region. The lawsuit could signal changes for other healthcare workers nationwide. Lawyers for the plaintiff say that the results of the case could have implications for 3.5 million health care workers in the U.S.
Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 949.375.4734.
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