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$586,000 Settlement Reached in Pennsylvania Home Health Aide Class Action Lawsuit

Posted: November 17, 2016
Practice Areas: Employment Law

Philadelphia, PA, November 17, 2016. Community Legal Services of Philadelphia ("CLS") and Berger & Montague, P.C. jointly announce a $586,000 settlement of a claim brought by Plaintiff Jeniffer Santiago Rivera on behalf of a class of 268 home health aides who alleged that they were denied overtime pay by their employer, Vital Support Home Health Care Agency, Inc. ("VSHHA").

The lawsuit alleged that VSHHA did not pay its home health aides overtime premiums for hours when they worked more than forty hours in a workweek, as required by Pennsylvania state law. On November 1, 2016, Magistrate Judge Timothy R. Rice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an order granting final approval of the settlement agreement. Class members will receive close to 100% of their unpaid overtime premiums as a result of the settlement.

"We are very pleased with the settlement," said Michael Hollander of CLS, Co-Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs. "The home care support that VSHHA aides provide to their elderly and disabled clients is extremely meaningful, and they need to be fairly compensated for their work. We appreciate that VSHHA worked with us to help reach a successful resolution of the case at an early stage."

Founded in 1966 by the Philadelphia Bar Association, CLS has provided free civil legal assistance to more than one million low-income Philadelphians and is nationally recognized as a model legal services program. CLS's Employment Unit represents clients with employment-related problems, including tackling barriers to employment, seeking unpaid wages, and preserving jobs. The unit advocates at the national and state levels on low-income workers' rights issues.

"It was a privilege to work with CLS on this case," said Sarah Schalman-Bergen of Berger & Montague, P.C., also Co-Lead Counsel for plaintiffs. "Their commitment to assisting community members who have been wronged and upholding federal and state employment laws is inspiring. We are fortunate to be involved with such an organization."

The national class action law firm Berger & Montague, P.C. has offices in Philadelphia and Minneapolis and consists of more than 60 attorneys who represent plaintiffs in complex and class action litigation. The firm's attorneys have a long history of successfully prosecuting employment law and unpaid wages cases.

"I am pleased with the outcome of the case," said Ms. Rivera. "I am happy not only for me, I am happy that they helped hundreds of people that were going through the same thing. The attorneys fight for the good of the community. They went above and beyond. They have impressed me."