Avondale Care Group
Getman, Sweeney & Dunn and Bohrer Brady, LLC represent the Named Plaintiffs who are Home Health Aides (“HHAs”) formerly employed at Avondale Care Group, LLC (“Avondale”) in a lawsuit against Avondale for alleged violations of federal and state overtime laws, titled Severino v. Avondale Care Group, LLC, 1:21 Civ. 10720 (S.D.N.Y.). This case was filed as a putative collective and class action lawsuit.
Plaintiffs allege that Avondale failed to pay them and other Home Health Aides overtime as required by state and federal law. They assert that Avondale only paid them for 13 of the 24 hours worked in their shifts and deducted time for three supposed one-hour meal breaks and an eight-hour sleep period. However, Plaintiffs allege that they had to work during their meal and sleep periods in order to care for their assigned patients. In their Complaint, specifically, they have asserted claims on behalf of themselves and other Home Health Aides for: 1) unpaid overtime wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages; 2) unpaid spread of hours wages; and 3) wage statement violations. You can view the Complaint here.
Court Grants Final Approval of Settlement – Posted January 31, 2024
On January 31, 2024, Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron granted final approval to the Settlement of this case. After the 30-day appeals period has expired, the Settlement will become final. We expect the settlement checks to be mailed out in mid-March. Over 700 Home Health Aides are due to receive payments.
Settlement Notice for Avondale Home Health Aides Mailed October 18, 2023 - Posted October 26, 2023
Judge Stewart D. Aaron has granted permission for the Settlement Administrator to distribute settlement notifications to both individuals who have opted in and class members, with the purpose of informing them about their legal rights and the potential value of their claims. This notification is important to individuals who have worked as current or former Avondale home health aides and performed live-in 24-hour shifts between December 15, 2015, and September 15, 2023. The notifications were sent to all class members and opt-ins on October 18, 2023.
If you qualify as a class member, it is crucial to submit your claim form by December 18, 2023. In the event that you have moved or did not receive the notification, you can reach out to the Settlement Administrator, Analytics, LLC, at 877-579-6557.
For those who have already joined the lawsuit, no further action is necessary. However, if you have recently moved or plan to relocate in the near future, please contact Analytics, LLC, at 877-579-6557.
Court Grants Preliminary Approval to Settlement – Posted 9/25/23
On September 20, 2023, Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron granted Preliminary Approval for the settlement of this lawsuit, as agreed upon by the parties earlier this month. The settlement includes all Home Health Aides who worked 24-hour live-in shifts for Avondale between December 15, 2015, and September 15, 2023.
In October, a notice will be mailed to all Home Health Aides who are eligible to participate in the settlement and get a settlement sum of money. The notice will explain the rights and options that class members have under the settlement and the deadlines by which they must exercise them. Those who have not joined the lawsuit previously will have the opportunity to join now by submitting a claim form. All class members will also have the right to opt out of the settlement or object to the settlement.
The Final Approval Hearing for the settlement of this case is scheduled for January 31, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street New York, NY 10007-1312 before Judge Stewart D. Aaron in Courtroom 11C.
A full copy of the settlement agreement is available here.
On October 29, 2022, Judge Stewart D. Aaron allowed Plaintiffs to send notice to potential class members explaining their rights to join the case. Any current or former Avondale home health aide who worked at least two live-in 24-hour shifts in a workweek at any time from December 15, 2015 to the present is eligible to join the case and should receive a Notice. This excludes HHAs who are represented by other counsel or have resolved their claims with Avondale. In order to join the case, eligible home health aides must fill out and return a Consent to Sue form by April 14, 2023.
On November 7, 2022, both sides agreed to mediate this dispute with the hope of settling the case. On January 31, 2023, both sides met with mediator Stephen Sonnenberg. Unfortunately, after a full day of and additional subsequent discussions with Avondale’s lawyers through the mediator, we were not able to come to an agreement to settle any of the claims. This means there will be no settlement at this time and the case will be moving forward in litigation.
While the mediation was pending, notice to every Avondale home health aide eligible to join the lawsuit was placed on hold, pursuant to a court-approved agreement between the parties. The statute of limitations under Fair Labor Standards Act has been tolled from October 29, 2022 until the date notice is issued (this means that Plaintiffs will not be losing their claims for wages between October 29, 2022 until the date of notice if the lawsuit will be successful eventually). If you are eligible to join the case (please see below for the class definition and eligibility), you can still file a consent to sue form and join the lawsuit.
Court Grants Conditional Certification!
On October 29, 2022 the court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to conditionally certify a Collective Action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (this means that the Avondale home health aides who opted-into the lawsuit can move ahead as a group). Plaintiffs can issue notice to all of the Avondale home health aides who are eligible to join the case.
Answers to Common Questions - Posted December 15, 2021
What claims are covered in this case?
The case covers claims for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and under New York State labor law. The specific violations claimed are that Avondale failed to pay overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek to its Home Health Aides. This includes time worked through meal breaks and sleep breaks if you did not receive 8 hours of sleep, 5 of which were uninterrupted and 3 hours of meals during a shift. Additionally, it is claimed that Avondale failed to pay its Home Health Aides spread of hours pay required under NY state law for shifts worked more than 10 hours. Finally, it is also claimed that the pay statements provided by Avondale did not include the accurate number of hours worked, in violation of NY law. Avondale disputes these allegations. The Court has not made any determination as to liability.
What damages are sought?
Damages sought under the FLSA include back overtime wages, an equal amount of liquidated damages, interest, and fees and costs for each violation. The FLSA provides for liquidated damages in an amount equal to the back pay owed and allows claims going back two or three years from when someone affirmatively joins the case by filing a Consent to Sue.
Damages sought under the New York Labor law include back overtime wages, an additional hour of pay at the minimum wage for each shift worked greater than 10 hours, an equal amount of liquidated damages, interest, and fees and costs for each violation. And up to $5,000 in damages for the pay statement violations.
How far back can claims be made?
Generally, under the FLSA, you are entitled to make claims for the period extending back two or three years from the date your Consent To Sue Form is filed with the court. Defendant will be entitled to argue that any alleged violations were not willful and that claims should only be limited to a two-year period preceding the filing of your Consent to Sue. This two or three year period is called the “statute of limitations.”
Claims under the New York State Labor law go back six years from the filing of the complaint.
How do I join the case?
If you choose to join this collective action, you can do so by completing a Consent to Sue and sending it to Getman, Sweeney & Dunn for filing. You may also retain your own attorney.
Do I have to pay to join the case?
Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC and Bohrer Brady, LLC. are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid if we win through a settlement or final judgment.
Can I wait to file my Consent to Sue form?
You are not part of the FLSA case until your Consent to Sue is filed. If you delay in filing the Consent to Sue or do not bring your own case, part or your entire claim may be barred by the statute of limitations. You can complete this Consent to Sue and send it to Getman, Sweeney & Dunn for filing.
Can the Defendant fire me or take action against me for joining the case?
The law prohibits retaliation for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffers retaliation, Defendant would be liable for damages. At least double the injury caused to the employee, and possibly much more. Notify an attorney immediately if you think any retaliation occurs. Retaliation is rare in overtime cases because an employer can incur damages, including back wages, liquidated damages, and punitive damages.
What locations are covered by this lawsuit?
The FLSA claims in this lawsuit cover every worksite nationwide in the U.S.A. If you worked for Defendant anywhere in the country, you can bring FLSA claims in this case. The New York State Labor Law claims cover only work performed in New York.
Fill out this form if you would like someone from GSD to contact you to provide more information. Please note that if you would like to join the lawsuit, you must fill out the "Consent to Sue" form linked in the "How to Join this Case" section.