Case Managers, Long Term Care Case Managers, Utilization Review Nurses, and Social Workers have filed collective action lawsuits over unpaid wages allegations
According to the complaints, the plaintiffs allege that they have suffered damages from being required to work for more than 40 hours per week without being paid any overtime compensation. The plaintiffs hold their employers responsible for unpaid wages because the defendants allegedly allowed the plaintiffs to work for more than 40 hours but failed to pay them any overtime premiums and failed to keep accurate time records.
The plaintiffs seek unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages/statutory damages, all legal fees and interest, and any other relief as the court deems just.
If you worked as a Case Manager, LTC Case Manager, Utilization Review Nurse or Social Worker at one of the following companies and believe you have wrongfully had your overtime wages withheld, we’d like to hear from you:
- United HealthCare (UTC)
- Centene / Sunshine Health
The healthcare industry is infamous for classifying people as salaried (exempt) employees and thereby refusing to pay overtime based on the law. At the Law Office of J.J. Talbott we’ve been successful in proving they are not. See some of the complaints we have filed in the past below.
What is a FLSA Collective Action Lawsuit?
Most people have heard of a “class-action” lawsuit, but few have heard of a “collective action” lawsuit. Although the goals of both lawsuits are similar, they are actually different. Specifically, in a class-action lawsuit, the plaintiff will file a motion to certify a class and, if granted, notice is sent to the entire class wherein each potential class member is given the opportunity to “opt out” of the lawsuit. If they do not “opt out” of the lawsuit, then they are included in the lawsuit. However, a “collective action” lawsuit is a little different in that the Court sends a notice to all “similarly situated employees” and the employees are given an opportunity to “opt in” to the lawsuit. If the employee does not “opt in” to the lawsuit, then they are not part of lawsuit. All employees that “opt in” to the lawsuit become parties to the lawsuit and can proceed forward to litigate their cases as a group, rather than an individual capacity. Therefore, a collective action lawsuit is a mechanism by which a court sends notice to potential party plaintiffs and gives them the opportunity to join into a pending lawsuit. Again, if the potential class member does not “opt in” to the lawsuit, they are not entitled to recover damages in the lawsuit, but must file a separate suit in order to recover damages.
Can I still join the lawsuit if I was paid as a salaried case manager or was classified as “exempt from overtime”?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the fact that your employer considered you as an exempt from overtime employee, or paid you a salary, does not prevent you from receiving overtime pay. Specifically, all employees must be paid overtime for each and every hour that they work in excess of 40 hours in any workweek unless the employee qualifies as “exempt from overtime” under a specific exemption of the FLSA. The burden is on the employer to prove that the exemption applies. Thus, even if the employer classifies the employee as “exempt from overtime” or pays the employee on a “salary” basis, the employee can still receive overtime pay if it is determined that the employee was misclassified as an exempt from overtime employee.
It is the Plaintiffs’ position that the above companies misclassified some Case Managers, Long Term Care Case Managers, Utilization Review Nurses and Social Workers as “exempt from overtime” employees and that they are owed overtime for each and every hour over 40 hours in any workweek. In fact, we have handled similar cases on behalf of case managers/family service counselors, who were paid a salary, and were successful in proving that the employees were entitled in recover unpaid overtime for the employees. See Talbott v. Lakeview.
How many years can I “go back” to recover unpaid wages?
The Fair Labor Standards Act only allows an employee/Plaintiff to seek unpaid wages for two years prior to the date that the lawsuit was filed, or for any person seeking to “opt in” to a collective action lawsuit, two years from the date that they file their “opt in”. However, for “willful” violations, the employee can seek to recover three years of unpaid wages. This is what is commonly referred to as the statute of limitations. The Plaintiffs have alleged that the violations in this case were willful violations.
How do I become part of this lawsuit?
In order to recover unpaid wages and/or be part of this lawsuit, all case managers must complete an opt-in form and return to our office immediately so that it can be filed with the court. The statute of limitations continues to run until the “opt in” form is filed with the court, so it is important for all persons wanting to opt in to act quickly to avoid losing their right to recover unpaid wages. Contact us immediately so we can get you the correct form.
Do you have to pay you any money to be part of this lawsuit?
The short answer is no. We are accepting these cases on a contingency basis and we are fronting all cost associated with the cases. If we do not recover any monies from the defendant, then you owe us no fees or costs.