A federal judge in Connecticut on Monday OK’d four classes as part of an ongoing suit against insurance giant Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and two of its affiliates, brought on by home health workers who claim they were cheated out of pay and overtime wages.
In addition to Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana, the legal battle specifically involves Humana At Home and SeniorBridge Family Companies.
Humana did not respond to a request for comment from Home Health Care News.
As part of the ongoing litigation, plaintiffs Daverlynn Kinkead, Shirley Caillo and Claude Mathieu allege that Humana and the two other named affiliates failed to pay overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week during parts of their respective employments.
Kinkead, Caillo and Mathieu are taking action against Humana individually and behalf of all other similarly situated current and former employees.
The home health workers provided care for older adults and individuals with disabilities in New York and Connecticut. They brought their claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, New York Labr Law and the Connecticut Minimum Wage Act, while also citing certain U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) overtime regulations.
While U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer certified four classes, he also included some restrictions on who could be included in them, according to Law360, which first reported the news.
For example, the judge narrowed one particular class to only include those who had a 24-hour live-in shift at least once during a given window of time.
In general, class certification is an important step in defining the categories or buckets of claims associated with a case. After a judge signs off on classes, a case is often fast-tracked toward a resolution.
An attorney representing the workers told Law360 that the number of total class members is unclear at this point, though he anticipates there to be hundreds of New York home health workers eventually involved, with far fewer in Connecticut.
Pay and overtime for live-in home health aides has long been a hot topic — especially in New York.
A winding legal dispute to decide whether live-in home care aides in New York who work for an agency should be paid for the full 24 hours on the job instead of the current standard of 13, however, is nearing a conclusion.