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New Overtime Lawsuit Filed Against LHC Group, Inc for Failure to Pay Travel Time to Home Health Employees

By Coffman Legal, LLC | Posted on Nov 23 2020

Coffman Legal’s Ohio FLSA Overtime Attorneys filed a Collective and Class Action Lawsuit against LHC Group, Inc. for failing to compensate its home healthcare employees for time spent traveling between clients’ residences in the same workday.

On July 30, 2020, the law firm of Coffman Legal, LLC filed a Collective and Class Action Complaint against Defendant LHC Group, Inc. (“LHC”) on behalf of hourly home healthcare employees for the alleged failure of LHC to compensate its employees for overtime wages earned for all overtime work performed in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act (“FLSA”).

LHC is a national provider of in-home healthcare services that operates throughout Ohio where it employed Plaintiff and other hourly healthcare employees, such as Direct Support Professionals, Support Specialists, Caregivers, Home Health Aides (HHAs), Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNAs), etc.

The Complaint alleges that LHC required its healthcare employees to visit multiple patients or clients throughout the day and, as such, required them to drive between residences. However, these employees allege that LHC did not pay them for such travel time despite LHC’s actual and/or constructive knowledge of such travel in violation of federal and state overtime laws.

The FLSA requires an employer to pay employees for their work. Drive time is compensable when it occurs after the first principal activities and before the last principal activities of the workday (i.e., drive time takes place during the continuous workday rather than merely in preparation for it or winding down from it). While driving to and from the workplace at the beginning and end of the day, for example, would not be compensable, time spent driving between different patients’ or clients’ residences during the workday is compensable. Indeed, travel between clients’ homes or from jobsite to jobsite during a day is work time and must be counted as hours worked. To the extent that the travel time results in an employee working more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employee has unpaid overtime.

The Complaint alleges these job duties were integral and indispensable to the healthcare employees’ primary job activities, and as such, they should have been compensated for the time spent performing this travel which constitutes work.

This lawsuit provides an example of how an employer can underpay its employees in violation of the FLSA by not fully paying them all overtime wages earned for all overtime work that they perform. This unpaid time often results in unpaid overtime which adds up over the course of an employee’s employment.  The FLSA sets forth the minimum compensation employees must be paid, and non-exempt hourly employees are entitled to receive full and proper compensation under the FLSA, including overtime.

The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages since July 30, 2017, liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid overtime, attorney’s fees, and costs, among other things.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Columbus) and is titled Farmer v. LHC Group, Inc., Case No. 2:20-cv-3838.

Additional information about the collective and class action against LHC may be found by contacting our office by calling 614-949-1181 or emailing mcoffman@mcoffmanlegal.com. If you have any questions about whether you are being properly paid all overtime wages earned for all of the compensable hours you work (including overtime), then contact our office today to speak with our Overtime Attorneys regarding any wage and hour issues. Unfortunately, employers large (like LHC Group) and small do not pay employees properly for a variety of reasons. In this particular, case, the home health employees are owed for their time spent traveling between clients’/patients’ residences.

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