An unpaid-wage case from the West Coast has a lot of our Indiana readers cheering this month after the employer agreed to pay out a $2.2 million settlement for claims that it routinely underpaid its workers. This particular class-action lawsuit highlighted the restlessness among many health care workers, especially those working in assisted living facilities and how they are fighting back against unfair wages and violations in employment law.
For those unfamiliar with the case, several workers filed claims against Emeritus, the country’s largest assisted living company, stating that the company has consistently violated state laws that mandated rest periods and meal times, denied no-salaried workers overtime, and was had not properly compensated workers for days in which they received training. As some of our readers might already be thinking, these claims could just as easily have been filed here in Indiana and would have been found to have violated our state laws as well.
Despite the fact that the company adamantly denies the claims against them, it has agreed to pay out the $2.2 million settlement to compensate workers in their California facilities who worked from 2007 to 2013. This lawsuit could very well mark a huge stepping stone in the fight towards fair compensation in the health care industry. We’ve seen employers in past cases exploit their workers because they are unskilled or immigrants. As any of our readers will tell you, this type of behavior is unlawful and can be brought to the attention of a lawyer.
Source: ProPublica, "Workers Win $2 Million Settlement From Assisted Living Giant," Joe Sexton, Aug. 22, 2013