Many employees have brought their employers to court for misclassification as overtime exempt. Often, the reason for the misclassification is that the employees are paid a salary and the dispute is whether or not their job duties fit into one of the categories eligible for overtime exemption. In the case of Cook et al, v. Amedisys Inc. however, the occupational, speech and physical therapist and nurse plaintiffs were not paid a salary. Instead they were paid on a per visit or hourly basis, yet Amedisys still allegedly classified them as exempt from overtime.
The named plaintiffs are filing their complaint in the US District court of Connecticut on behalf of themselves and all other Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists in Amedisys’s home health division (collectively, “Clinicians”).
Despite the fact that the plaintiffs allegedly worked regularly more than eight hours a day and forty hours a week, they were not paid for much of their straight time and overtime. Amedisys allegedly had a pay system by which they assigned a certain number of productivity points to each type of patient visit (generally 1, 1.5, or 2), using time estimates for patient visits to determine how many points to allocate. Amedisys allegedly did not provide any additional compensation beyond the visit rates for time spent doing work before or after the patient visit that is related to the particular patient, including time spent charting patient information, driving to and from the visits, dropping off lab tests, or communicating with patients, doctors, and other care providers.
Named plaintiff Joseph G. Husk worked for Amedisys as an RN from April 2010 through November 2011. Beginning in summer of 2010, Amedisys allegedly stopped paying Mr. Husk and other Clinicians at his branch a salary and instead paid them solely based on a per visit/hourly compensation plan. Although Mr. Husk was occasionally paid additional compensation that Amedisys allegedly labeled “overtime” when he accepted and completed additional patient visits in the evenings following a full day of visits, such compensation was paid at a rate lower than time and a half. Additionally, Mr. Husk was paid only for time spent making visits and not for all of the time over forty hours which he spent working.
In addition to the nationwide FLSA collective action which the named plaintiffs are filing for certification, Mr. Tomkins and Mr. Husk are also filing for certification of a Pennsylvania class for those Clinicians who work or have worked for Amedisys any time in the past three years in the state of Pennsylvania under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. Tomkins and Husk believe that the Pennsylvania class could consist of several hundred people, while the national class has the potential to consist of several thousand members.
Members of the claimed FLSA collective action have significantly similar job requirements and pay provisions and are subject to a common practice, policy, or plan which requires or permits them to perform work for the benefit of Amedisys in excess of forty hours per workweek without compensation at time and a half for hours worked over forty hours per week. The named plaintiffs therefore allege this case is eligible for collective action and class certification. In addition to certification of their class, the plaintiffs are seeking unpaid compensation, and equal amount of liquidated damages, and/or prejudgment interests, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
Nationwide Consumer Rights is investigating for occupational, speech and physical therapist and nurse plaintiffs who work for Amedisys in states other than Pennsylvania and for occupational, speech and physical therapist and nurse plaintiffs who work for other companies that employ the same or similar practices Amedisys.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour claims including overtime, meal breaks, vacation pay, and tips. Our offices are conveniently located in Oak Brook Terrace and Chicago, Illinois. If you think your employer may have misclassified you as exempt, contact a Rockford attorney today at 312-869-4095 or fill out our online form today.