A class-action lawsuit filed this week by several Washington, D.C. home care workers could ultimately balloon into a $150 million case with as many as 6,000 plaintiffs as they seek reparation for alleged backpay owed to them by their former employers.
The bid for class-action status, filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court, arrives one month following the initial lawsuit filed in December, which included about 150 home care workers suing three D.C. area home care companies, including Nursing Enterprises Inc., Vizion One Inc. and Health Management Inc.
In the suit, workers claimed they were forced to work without pay after a federal investigation uncovered $78 million in fraudulent Medicaid billing in February 2014. Ultimately, the sting led to the arrests of 20 people and the suspension of 13 agencies by D.C.’s Department of Health Care Finance from the Medicaid program, six of which were home care agencies, including Nursing Enterprises Inc. and Vizion One.
If the class-action status is granted, it would automatically add all employees at the three home care companies in the three years since the dispute, unless they opt-out, said Sara Faulman, an attorney representing the workers, who are members of Service Employees International Union 1199, in a Washington Business Journal article.
Written by Jason Oliva