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California Nursing Home Overtime Settlement

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Five Star Quality Care Inc., a California Nursing Home, settles overtime lawsuit filed in 2015.

Los Angeles, CAA California labor lawsuit claiming wage and labor violations has finally been agreed upon for $3 million. The Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), originally filed in 2015, sought to represent over 250 former and current nursing home workers employed by Five Star Quality Care Inc.

The 2015 lawsuit, filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court, included class claims that were dismissed and non-PAGA individual claims that were sent to arbitration. Plaintiff Lourdes Lefevre’s PAGA claim was the only lawsuit remaining to be settled. Lefevre, a former personal care provider at the nursing home, claimed that Five Star had violated California labor laws since about 2011, including:
  • failure to pay overtime
  • failure to provide meal and rest breaks
  • claiming rest periods as benefits
  • deducting business expenses from paychecks without reimbursement.
  • failure to keep accurate payroll records or effectively track hours worked

Forged Agreement?

In her 2015 complaint, Lefevre stated that Five Star Quality Care forged her signature that requires employees to waive their statutory rights if they don't meet a series of grievance deadlines before arbitration – another violation of the California labor code.

Five Star argued the agreement is valid and enforceable under federal, California and Maryland law – where the company is headquartered. And a human resources manager from the company claimed that Lefevre signed the agreement a few days before she started work at Five Star. Lefevre claimed she never received any paperwork until after she began work.

Similar Wage and Overtime Complaint

A second lawsuit, Mandviwala v. Five Star Quality Care, Inc., was also filed by a former employee with similar complaints. Defendants said the Lefevre settlement “will effectively extinguish the Mandviwala v. Five Star Quality Care, Inc. d/b/a Five Star Quality Care - CA, Inc. and FVE Managers, Inc. lawsuit. We recognized $0 and $2,473 in other senior living operating expenses related to the settlement of these claims during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020.

Lefevre sought unpaid overtime wages, one hour of pay for each workday where a mealtime or rest period wasn't provided, disgorgement of wages and expenses that were improperly deducted and other injunctive relief and damages, according to Law360.

Over $500,000 of the PAGA claim will go to aggrieved employees and the remaining amount will go to attorney fees and civil penalties with more than $1.5 million allocated to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The settlement  is Lourdes Lefevre et al. v. Five Star Quality Care Inc. et al., case number 5:15-cv-01305 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


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