ResCare, Inc. Allegedly Violated Federal Labor Law, According to Workers' Law Firms

May 02, 2007, 01:00 ET from Lee & Braziel, LLP

    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 (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