Home healthcare providers are among the top professionals facing issues related to receiving proper compensation, rest breaks, meal breaks and adequate reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses from their employers. These critical in-home caretakers are also routinely misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees— and are therefore frequently denied essential benefits.
California has enacted strict legislation to protect these all-important types of employees. Here at Lauby, Mankin & Lauby, we fight against the injustices and for compensation for our clients. Have you experienced any of these issues as a home health care provider or perhaps another field? Contact us today for an absolutely free consultation. We do not charge any fees unless we prevail on your case!
One of the most common issues our firm encounters with workers in the home health care industry is the inability to take full and proper meal and rest breaks.
For every six hours of work in California, each employee is entitled to a 30-minute lunch break, in addition to a 15-minute rest break every four hours. Employers must guarantee that employees have the opportunity to take these breaks. What’s more, every employee must be allowed to leave work for these breaks and cannot be ordered or expected to complete work-related tasks during this time. Furthermore, the “burden of proof” that these breaks were indeed provided lies entirely with the employer, not the employee.
Another common illegal practice of home healthcare employers is their failure to compensate employees for expenses that are incurred during the course of their job duties. The most common violation in this category is failing to reimburse employees for mileage, to and from, the homes of the patients being cared for. Other examples for which these workers should be reimbursed include miscellaneous small purchases for their client’s health care needs and compensation for using one’s own cellphone.
The home healthcare field is a demanding landscape for the hard workers in this unique field. Oftentimes, employees are forced to work long hours in a single day or many days in a work week. All applicable California state overtime laws are enforceable for home healthcare employees.
If your employer fails to pay proper overtime on a daily or weekly basis then you have a valid claim against them for damages. Overtime typically consists of your regular rate of pay multiplied by 1.5x for time for every bit of time worked in excess of 8 hours in a single day. You’re then entitled to 2x the normal rate for time for anything exceeding 12 hours in a given day. Please see our overtime page for more detail. The best method to determine if you have been compensated correctly is to contact us and provide wage statements for our expert attorneys for review. We will be able to determine if you have been compensated correctly based documents provided to us. Should we determine that you have not been compensated correctly, we will develop a comprehensive plan to force your employer to pay all wages due and all commensurate damages due to you and your fellow workers.
Many home healthcare companies attempt to bypass all of the previously mentioned infractions by claiming that their employees are not employees, but rather they designate them as independent contractors. This is by far the most common violation of law we see in California. California’s laws determining the status of an independent contractor are quite narrow and defined. When you contact our firm, we can determine if you are actually an employee instead an of independent contractor. Once we determine that you should be classified as an employee, rather than a 1099 independent contractor, we will assert claims for numerous damages against your employer and all of the above categories’ damages will also be included in the claims. Contact us today for a free determination of your employment status and let us help you recover the compensation you truly deserve for all of your hard work.