A group of nurses from the Philippines can move forward with a class action lawsuit against two nursing homes over allegations they were forced to stay or face a $25,000 “contract termination fee.”
U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon gave her blessing to the case on Monday to all nurses enlisted by Sentosa Nursing Recruitment Agency. The workers started working in 2008 at two New York-based nursing homes — Golden Gate Rehabilitation Center in Staten Island and Spring Creek in Brooklyn.
One of the nurses, Rose Ann Paguirigan, sued the three companies in March 2017, alleging they abused the legal system and violated the Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. They did so, she alleged, by forcing her and other nurses to pay a $25,000 fee if they left their positions before the end of a three-year term, Law360 reports.
Paguirigan signed one of those contracts in 2015 to work for Golden Gate. But her contract was later transferred to Spring Creek, in Brooklyn, and she quit her job in March 2016 after the homes allegedly failed to pay her wages. She’s accused the operators of frequently assigning contracts to avoid paying promised wages.
The attorney representing the nursing homes told Law360 that they’re disappointed in the judge’s decision, believing that Paguirigan was “never misled” about her salary or threatened “in any way.”