A nationwide class action lawsuit was filed yesterday against one the nation’s largest home health care service providers. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the lawsuit asserts that Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) (“Amedisys”) violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to plaintiffs’ counsel Christine Webber of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. The lawsuit, entitled Cook, et al. v. Amedisys, Inc., asserts that Amedisys, which has more than 16,000 employees, treats visiting nurses and other home health care providers as exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA and refuses to pay these employees for all hours worked or time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 per week. Amedisys pays nurses and other health care providers on a “per visit” basis for some work, with visit rates set based on estimated average visit durations, an hourly rate for other work, and fails to pay anything at all for other hours worked. Plaintiffs allege this compensation scheme does not meet the requirements of state or federal wage and hour law. Along with Cohen Milstein, attorneys at Martin & Jones, PLLC, and Hayber Law Firm, LLC, have petitioned the court to certify the lawsuit as a nationwide FLSA class action and provide all similarly situated employees notice for an opportunity to join the lawsuit. This would allow all current and former Amedisys registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists who have not been paid for all hours worked to be eligible to participate in this legal action. “Amedisys’ compensation scheme encourages employees to take on more patient visits, and work longer hours, while Amedisys reaps the benefits by reducing their labor costs and boosting their profit margins,” said Jill Hernandez, who worked more than 10 years as a Wage and Hour Investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor prior to joining Martin & Jones, where she represents employees in violations of both federal and state wage and hour law.
Christine Webber, a partner at Cohen Milstein who has represented thousands of workers in wage and hour cases, noted: “These nurses are dedicated to their patients. They are caring for parents and grandparents, enabling them to stay in their own homes. We are equally dedicated to ensuring that these health care providers are paid for all the hours they work.”Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Martin & Jones, PLLC, is based in North Carolina; and Hayber Law Firm, LLC, is based in Connecticut. For more information about the case, visit http://www.cohenmilstein.com/news.php?NewsID=513