BALTIMORE — A group of rehabilitation coordinators for Alliance Inc., a service provider for patients with special needs, has agreed to settle its class action wage suit against the company under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for $330,000. Under the settlement agreement, around $230,000 will be divided between 15 current and former rehabilitation coordinators, who will collect between $1,800 and $25,000 each. $100,000 of the settlement proceeds will pay for attorneys’ fees and costs. The company, Alliance Inc., has multiple locations in Maryland and provides residential and outpatient services to individuals with mental and developmental disabilities.
Allegations Against Alliance
The rehabilitation coordinators who filed the suit alleged that Alliance violated FLSA by not paying them for all the hours that they worked. Alliance allegedly failed to pay the coordinators for all the hours they worked and consistently understaffed its facilities, thus forcing employees to regularly work more than forty hours per week and perform duties that were not part of their normal responsibilities. Additionally, coordinators were asked to to be on call outside of their normal shifts, including weekends, and regularly took work home. However, the coordinators were not paid overtime and were required to fill out their timesheets without claiming more than forty hours of work each week. Even though employees were provided the option of “flex time” in lieu of overtime, which meant they were permitted to take time off on a scheduled work day, that option was rarely available.
FLSA’s Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements
Under FLSA, covered employees must be paid for all hours that they are suffered or permitted to work by the employer. This includes all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed work place. Regardless of an employee’s scheduled shift, all the time that employee spends being suffered or permitted to work by an employer is considered compensable time. Additionally, employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular pay rate. This includes time that the employer does not specifically authorize if the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employee is continuing to work. If an employee takes work home and finishes work there after his or her scheduled shift, and the employer knows or should have known of it, this is considered compensable work time even though it was unscheduled.
The issue of whether time spent is compensable by an employer is a complex question, but the definition of what counts as “hours worked” is broad. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel your wages were unlawfully withheld by an employer. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.