Cohen Milstein attorneys play a critical role in protecting the rights of “direct care” workers, who provide home care for the elderly or individuals with disabilities.  In addition to their work in the home health care field in cases such against Amedisys, Gentiva, and Help at Home, Cohen Milstein recently filed suit on behalf of direct care workers in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  

This suit alleges that the defendant, Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), violated federal law and Pennsylvania state law when it denied or improperly paid overtime wages to direct care workers it employed.  The case further alleges that, as Mr. Talarico’s primary or joint employer, PPL was responsible for paying these wages.  The named plaintiff, Ralph Talarico, seeks unpaid wages and liquidated damages for himself and all other similarly situated direct care workers.  Cohen Milstein has partnered with the law firm Nichols Kaster, PLLP (http://www.nka.com) in Minneapolis, MN on this matter.

“I take great pride in the important work my colleagues and I do, and the commitment I have for those I serve is deep and unwavering,” said Mr. Talarico. “But the fact that we are being denied fair compensation is a fundamental injustice that cannot be ignored.  Like my PPL colleagues throughout Pennsylvania, my job helps put food on the dinner table at night, so the actions of PPL have very real consequences for our families and loved ones.”

Direct care workers provide companionship and ensure the patients they serve can live safely in their own homes.  They provide assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting; prepare meals and assist with feeding; do housework; ensure patients take their medications and assist with arranging medical appointments and transportation for appointments.  Without their hard work over many hours, the individuals they serve would likely be in nursing homes.  Much as they care for their clients, the work they do is involved, and they deserve to be paid for all hours worked, including at overtime rates when they work over 40 hours per week, as they so often do.

“Every day, tens of thousands of workers in Pennsylvania call upon their compassion and dedication to tend to some of our society’s most vulnerable members,” said Christine E. Webber, partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and lead counsel on the case.  “Yet, despite the critical role they play, their employer has continued to deny them the fair compensation promised to them by law.  We look forward to pursuing justice for these incredible men and women and defending the value of their vital contributions to our community.”

To be eligible to make a claim in this lawsuit, you must be an hourly direct care worker for PPL who has worked overtime (more than 40 hours per work week) at any time from May 11, 2014 to the present.  If you are interested in joining this lawsuit, please download the consent form here. Once you have filled it out, please return it to the address at the bottom of the form.  If you have any questions, please call 202-408-4600 and ask to speak with Alexander Tablan or Miriam Nemeth.

No home health care worker will be required to pay to participate in this lawsuit. The case will be handled on a contingency basis, whereby attorney’s fees will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief through a settlement, final judgment, or award.

It is against the law for a company to retaliate against an employee or former employee for joining a lawsuit for unpaid wages.  If you suffer retaliation, you may be able to assert additional claims.

Should you have any questions, concerns, or information about PPL, please contact Christine Webber or Miriam Nemeth of Cohen Milstein at 202-408-4600 or Rachhana Srey or Robert Schug of Nichols Kaster at 1-877-448-0492.