DALLAS and SAVANNAH, Ga., May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- ResCare, Inc. (Nasdaq: RSCR), a nationwide provider of in-home therapeutic, educational, and training services, violated federal labor law by not paying workers for travel time to and from job assignments, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday. According to the law firms that filed the lawsuit in Georgia federal court alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), the case could affect thousands of current and former employees of ResCare and its subsidiaries, including Southern Home Care Services, Inc. The workers are represented by Kevin E. Hooks & Associates, LLC, of Savannah, Ga., Lee & Braziel, LLP, of Dallas, and the Law Offices of Benjamin H. Terry, P.C., of Peachtree City, Ga. The law firms will seek to have the case certified as a collective action intended to recover back wages for eligible current and former employees who have provided services to Defendants' medically home-bound clients at the residences of those clients since March 2004. The Complaint alleges that "[t]he pay policy and/or practice of Defendants expressly provides that Defendants shall not compensate employees for travel time between job sites during a day, even though that travel time is compensable travel that is all in a day's work. In fact, Plaintiffs were given specific instructions by Defendants that they could not submit time sheets reflecting time spent for travel between job sites during the day." Named plaintiff Chiquita Geddis, of Woodbury, Ga, said, "Earning $8.00 per hour for backbreaking work that few people will do is difficult enough, but to have our take-home pay reduced because we were not paid for travel time seems wrong. On a daily or weekly basis, the lost wages may not seem like much, but add them up over three years, and it's significant. No one told us that travel time was on the clock. It's upsetting to find out that news this way." The other named plaintiffs are Yekether Barnes, of Manchester, Ga., Felicia Holt, of Concord, Ga., and Deborah Harris, of Gay, Ga. Attorney Kevin Hooks, of Kevin E. Hooks & Associates, LLC, of Savannah, Ga., said, "Many employees of ResCare and its subsidiaries work in rural areas, and some drive long distances from house to house to deliver services. The law is clear that workers must be paid for travel when it's an integral part of the job. Companies like ResCare rely on personnel who typically work out of their homes, and report to a regional or divisional offices periodically, generally to pick up schedules and paychecks. Employees who work on this basis too often are not informed of their rights when it comes to 'wage and hour' law." Attorney J. Derek Braziel, of Lee & Braziel, LLP, in Dallas, said, "Like other companies in this sector, ResCare and its subsidiaries have grown quickly, in part, because managed care providers, such as Medicare, have forced shorter hospital stays and increased funding of post-discharge, in-home services. ResCare also has been an acquirer of smaller companies, and now has numerous subsidiaries. Rapid growth of this sort and the ramping up of staff can cause serious labor issues that lead to FLSA claims. We are continuing our investigation of this matter." The case is "Geddis, et al., v. Southern Home Care Services, Inc., et al.," (No. 3 07-CV-036-JTC) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Newnan Division. A Web site with more information about the lawsuit can be accessed at http://www.homecareovertime.com. (The Geddis case is separate from recent or pending FLSA lawsuits filed against ResCare and/or its subsidiaries in Oklahoma and Indiana.) Attorney Contacts: Kevin Hooks of Kevin E. Hooks & Associates, LLC, (912) 233-8105; J. Derek Braziel of Lee & Braziel, LLP, (214) 749-1400, and Benjamin H. Terry of the Law Offices of Benjamin H. Terry, P.C., (770) 394-1502. Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Lee & Braziel, LLP, (281) 362-1411 or (281) 703-6000.
SOURCE Lee & Braziel, LLP