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$1 Million Settlement Awarded to Home Care Workers

This is a settlement for the Employment lawsuit.

New York, NY: As many as 1,000 women who care for New York City's elderly and infirm will share a $1,090,000 settlement in a groundbreaking employment class action lawsuit against McMillan's Home Care Agency.

Originally filed in April 2010, the suit charged that the for-profit company consistently underpaid its workers and never paid overtime, despite frequently working more than 60 hours per week.

The lawsuit is the first against a New York home care agency to successfully reach classwide settlement over violations of state wage-and-hour laws. Judge Paul Wooten of the New York State Supreme Court, New York County, approved the settlement, which will give each worker a pro-rata share based on overtime hours worked and not paid. The settlement also prohibits McMillan's from retaliating against employees who complain about wages and hours and requires the company to appoint an administrator to handle complaints about payment of wages or reimbursement of expenses.

There are approximately 250,000 home care workers in New York State, and a projected need for another 100,000 over the next decade. In New York City, one in seven low-wage workers is employed in the home care industry.

Harlem resident Josefina A. Toledo Montero, the lead plaintiff, settled the lawsuit on behalf of herself and all current and former home care workers employed by McMillan's from April 12, 2004 through December 2, 2011—a group estimated to number around 1,500. Working in one of the nation's fastest-growing occupations, Ms Montero and her co-workers provide crucial care for elderly, infirm, and homebound patients in and around New York City.

Failure to comply with state overtime laws is pervasive in the home care industry in New York. A 2010 study, Working Without Laws, by the National Employment Law Project, found rampant wage theft in New York City's home care industry, with 8 out of 10 workers experiencing overtime violations and working "off the clock." Low pay drives many workers from the industry, making it difficult for seniors and people with disabilities to find stable, reliable care.

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Published on Jul-6-12


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