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An important legal victory for home healthcare aides

By Liane Fisher, Founding Partner, Serrins Fisher

Law.com is out with a report this week highlighting an important legal victory for New York-based home healthcare aides. My firm, Serrins Fisher, represents the plaintiffs in the action, and my associate Michael Taubenfeld has some great and insightful quotes in the article. Read the article here - the plaintiffs, NY home health aides who do not reside in the home of their patient, are suing under both NYC and NY State law to enforce regulations mandating that they be paid 10 dollars an hour, plus overtime, for every hour of a 24-hour shift they work, a fairly common schedule for home health aides. These plaintiffs were underpaid and deprived of their legal protections, and indications are that this is a common practice throughout the state. We are suing both to bring them relief and to clearly establish that employers simply can't get away with this.

The legal decision is a bit technical, but essentially, the judge has ruled that the case can move forward, and that the plaintiffs have stated a cognizable legal claims. The defendants, employers of the health aides, sought to have the case tossed from state court on jurisdictional grounds. They have been so far unsuccessful. I'll let Michael take it from here:

"This is another decision that underscores the law that home health aides who work for agencies and reside in their own homes have to be paid for all 24 hours of their shifts," said Michael Taubenfeld, an associate at Serrins Fisher, which represented the plaintiffs.

Several other trial court rulings have reached the same conclusions as Edmead, according to Taubenfeld, but had not ruled on the preemption or arbitration issues.

Two of the cases are before the Appellate Division, he said.

The cases will determine pay rates for "many tens of thousands" of home health aides in the New York City area, Taubenfeld said.

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