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Community Hospice Slammed with California Wage and Hour Class Action

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California-based Community Hospice Inc. is facing a California Wage and Hour class action lawsuit filed by current and former employees alleging they were unpaid wages during COVID

Santa Clara, CACurrent and former employees of California-based Community Hospice Inc. have filed a class action lawsuit asking nearly $5 million in alleged unpaid wages during the COVID pandemic. The complaint also alleges meal and rest periods were not provided. Plaintiffs allege that they were required to work even when they were clocked out for meal times and were denied rest periods for some shifts. And there are more complaints, including racial discrimination.

Plaintiff Tyeisha Travis filed a class action at the beginning of April, and it is currently pending in the Stanislaus County Superior Court. The complaint claims that the hospice failed to pay non-exempt employees minimum wages and overtime pay, and failed to pay accurate sick pay wages during COVID. As well, Community Hospice required its employees to work while clocked out for what should have been their off-duty meal. The California labor Code stipulates that employees are to be paid for all their time worked.

There are more complaints…

Inaccurate Wage Statements

The lawsuit also claims that the hospice frequently “rounded down” when issuing payment for hourly wages rather than pay the actual hours reported, so that wage statements “failed to identify the accurate total hours worked each pay period.” As well, employees were not paid accurate sick pay wages, another violation of the California Labor Code. The hospice said in a statement that, “Employees routinely earned non-discretionary incentive wages which increased their regular rate of pay. However, when paid sick pay wages, it was allegedly paid at the base rate of pay rather than the higher regular rate of pay.”

Further, the complaint alleges that employees did not receive pay that the hospice offered as part of an incentive program to hourly employees that included performance-based bonuses as part of their compensation packages. This resulted in an “underpayment” of overtime compensation for hours worked, according to court documents. Overtime wages were paid at a regular rate versus increased incentive wages the company promised as part of their compensation, the workers alleged.

Business Expenses

According to a press release, employees were not paid for required business expenses. Again, the hospice has violated the California Labor Code that states "an employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties..." During employment, employees were allegedly required to use their personal cellular phones as a result of and in furtherance of their job duties.

Racial Discrimination

An African American worker complained of “numerous instances of racial discrimination” that occurred regularly during her employment, according to the complaint. The plaintiff reported “numerous instances of racial discrimination” she was enduring at the work site to the hospice’s HR Director. According to the complaint, she was subjected to and endured on a weekly basis discrimination from her managers: they commented on her African style hair, skin color and other aspects of her appearance. As well, she was assigned duties that stunted her growth and opportunities with the company. She finally decided to resign due to the hostile and discriminatory environment.

The lawsuit against Community Hospice, Inc. is Case No. CV-23-001773

According to Hospice News, many hospices are struggling operationally and financially to comply with regulations, mainly due to workforce shortages and compliance issues. “Due to the labor pressures, hospice providers are being called upon to do more with less when it comes to compliance and care delivery, according to one health care provider. However, while understaffed hospices are addressing compliance challenges, this particular hospice is not addressing its basic staffing needs, such as minimum wages – allegedly.


California Labor Law Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to an employment law lawyer who may evaluate your California Labor Law claim at no cost or obligation.


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