Kindred Healthcare was denied late last week in its attempt to have a federal class-action lawsuit that alleges it failed to pay wages and overtime to skilled nursing clinicians dismissed.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled Thursday the lawsuit could move forward because the case and an earlier class settlement didn’t address the same alleged harm, Bloomberg Law reported.
Kindred settled a previous class-action lawsuit that accused the company of failing to pay wages owed to clinicians who worked in the home and hospice settings.
The court argued that the classes in the two lawsuits arose from “different factual predicates,” since one concerns compensation of clinicians working in the home healthcare setting and the other focuses on compensation of those working in the SNF setting.
The court also noted that evidence showed that the nature of the work and pay structures were different between the settings. The settlement also stated that only those “who provided home health care services would be affected by the settlement, meaning plaintiff was a member of a class of SNF clinicians who did not receive notice that they were releasing claims,” court documents stated.
Sarah Stonehocker, an occupational therapist and plaintiff in the current suit, worked for the operator in its home health care and skilled nursing facilities. She received and cashed a $6,079.83 check from the previous settlement. She alleges Kindred failed to pay wages and overtime to skilled clinicians who worked at its SNFs.
The court ruled the class settlement did not release Stonehocker of her right to pursue the lawsuit, the report stated.
A call from McKnight’s seeking comment from Kindred Healthcare’s representation was not returned by production deadline.