Caregivers in California have joined together to file a class action lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest employers of direct-care workers and its home care affiliates, alleging that the provider failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to employees. Charges also include various meal and rest period violations, among other claims.
Kindred Healthcare, Inc. and affiliated companies Professional Healthcare at Home, LLC and NP Plus, LLC are named in the lawsuit, filed June 18. LAS-ELC and the Women’s Employment Rights Clinic of Golden Gate University School of Law along with the law firm of Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C. filed the suit on the caregivers’ behalf.
“I believe they didn’t pay me all my wages when I was assisting a Kindred client in her home,” said Ginger Rogers, a named-plaintiff in the suit, according to a news release. “And when I went to care for another client in a facility, I had to work long shifts without any meal or rest breaks.”
The other plaintiff, Emma Delores Hawkins, was allegedly denied overtime pay for work performed, the suit says.
Kindred had not yet been served with the lawsuit as of Wednesday, a Kindred spokesperson told HHCN in an email.
“Until we have an opportunity to investigate this matter we will not have any public comments,” said Susan Moss, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Kindred. “However, we intend to defend this matter vigorously.”
An estimated 3.5 million people work as caregivers, making it the fastest growing sector of the health care workforce, said Hina Shah, co-director of the Women’s Employment Rights Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law, in the release.
Kindred employs about 300 professional caregivers at any given time in northern California alone, Shah said.
The Louisville, Ky.-based provider has annual revenues of $5 billion and about 63,000 employees in 47 states, according to its website. As of March 31, Kindred through its subsidiaries provided health care services in 2,313 locations.
Written by Cassandra Dowell