December 7, 2020 — Five Star Quality Care Inc. will settle a complaint accusing the senior care facility company of multiple California Labor Law violations.
The lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit requested that a federal court approve the settlement.
The plaintiff filed the grievance in 2015 on behalf of more than 250 current and past Five Star employees. The complaint detailed Five Star’s unfair treatment of employees, including unpaid overtime.
The plaintiff filed the lawsuit under California’s Private Attorney General’s Act (PAGA), which “authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations.”
The plaintiff also filed a standard class-action lawsuit. The December 2020 settlement responds to the PAGA claims, as the plaintiff’s individual complaints were settled through arbitration in 2019.
Once a judge approves the settlement, Five Star will pay $3,062,000 to settle the PAGA claims.
The $3 million will be allocated to the plaintiff and other class members for retribution and used for payment of attorney fees and fines imposed by California.
Complaints Against Five Star
The lead plaintiff began working at Five Star as a personal care assistant in 2015.
The main accusation in 2015 complained that the care facility did not pay employees overtime wages.
According to the complaint, the company did not compensate employees for their meal breaks, and some employees did not receive any breaks.
In addition to the wage complaint, the plaintiff also accused Five Star of:
- Neglecting to pay wages on time,
- Distributing inaccurate pay stubs, and
- Not reimbursing employees for expenses.
The lawsuit argued that Five Star was responsible for repaying employees’ unpaid wages and reimbursements for business expenses.
Although Five Star has not admitted any fault, it agreed to settle the class-action lawsuit.
After the plaintiff’s attorney reviewed thousands of documents related to the lawsuit, it was estimated that the plaintiff could recover up to $18 million if the case went to trial.
However, in the plaintiff’s motion to approve the settlement, they stated that a settlement was the best option and a fair compromise.
The plaintiff cited the uncertainty in trial scheduling due to the coronavirus pandemic and the potential legal issues that could arise in court to illustrate the benefits of settling.
Of the settlement’s $3 million, approximately $500,000 will go directly to the class members.
Current and past Five Star employees will receive reimbursements that come out to $17 per pay period worked since 2015.
California Class Action Lawsuit Attorneys
Employees can file a class action lawsuit in California when they share grievances about their employer.
California has strict labor laws that companies must adhere to, and employees can hold their employer accountable for violating these standards with a class action lawsuit.
In addition to helping plaintiffs receive fair compensation and work conditions, class action lawsuits protect future employees from similar treatment.
Our California class action attorneys at Workplace Rights Law Group are experienced in representing plaintiffs in these kinds of lawsuits.
Our attorneys have nearly 75 years of combined experience and are able to take on companies like Five Star Quality Care Inc.