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Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services

Ray v. Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services, Court File No. 2:17-cv-04239 (U.S. District Court for the Central District of California)

On July 21, 2017, we filed our first amended collective action complaint against the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (“DPSS” or “Defendant”) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging violations of federal overtime law.  The named plaintiffs, hourly homecare workers, brings their claims individually and on behalf of similarly situated employees who were employed by Defendant as homecare workers, homecare providers, or in similar job titles through California’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) in Los Angeles County who were paid for hours in excess of forty (40) per week at a rate of less than 1.5 times their regular rate.

The Complaint alleges that from January 1, 2015, when federal overtime regulations were revised to provide overtime protections to homecare workers, to February 1, 2016, when Defendant began paying appropriate overtime wages, Defendant underpaid their homecare workers by paying them “straight time” rates, rather than the required one and one-half (1.5) times the employees’ regular rate of pay, for their overtime hours.

The case is filed as a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action, and the named plaintiff seeks unpaid overtime wages and double damages. Nichols Kaster, PLLP has partnered with attorneys Scott Brady and Phillip Bohrer of Bohrer Brady, LLC (www.bohrerbrady.com) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in this matter.

Type of Case

Unpaid Overtime Wages

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Case Updates

  • January 17, 2018

    Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services –Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit - Update January 17, 2018

    Los Angeles County filed a motion to dismiss our case. In response to that motion, the Court ruled that the County was not required to follow the new overtime regulations until November 12, 2015, instead of January 1, 2015 as we had argued. However, the Court denied the County’s argument that it could not be sued for overtime violations because it was acting as an arm of the state. The County is appealing this ruling. We have filed a request for permission to appeal the court’s ruling regarding the effective date of the overtime regulations.

    The appeals process takes time, so in the meantime if there are any questions or any changes to contact information, please feel free to contact our Class Action Clerk Louis Hunter at lhunter@nka.com or (612) 256-3224.

  • June 8, 2017

    IHSS Homecare Provider Files Overtime Lawsuit Against California Department of Social Services and Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services

    An employee of the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) ("Defendants") filed a lawsuit on June 7, 2017 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging violations of federal overtime law. The named plaintiff, an hourly homecare worker, brings her claims individually and on behalf of similarly situated employees who were employed by Defendants as homecare workers, homecare providers, or in similar job titles through California's In-Home Supportive Services program who were paid for hours in excess of forty (40) per week at a rate of less than 1.5 times their regular rate.

    The Complaint alleges that from January 1, 2015, when federal overtime regulations were revised to provide overtime protections to homecare workers, to February 1, 2016, when Defendants began paying appropriate overtime wages, Defendants underpaid their homecare workers by paying them "straight time" rates, rather than the required one and one-half (1.5) times the employees' regular rate of pay, for their overtime hours. The case is filed as a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action, and the named plaintiff seeks unpaid overtime wages and double damages.

    The In-Home Supportive Services ("IHSS") program provides in-home assistance to eligible aged, blind, and disabled individuals as an alternative to out-of-home care. IHSS currently serves over 550,000 recipients through over 460,000 homecare workers (providers) in the state of California. The California Department of Social Services is responsible for the oversight of programs, including IHSS, which serve more than eight million people across the state. The Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services is the second largest department in Los Angeles County and is involved in administration and oversight of the IHSS program at the county level.

    Plaintiffs' attorney Matthew Helland of Nichols Kaster, LLP explained, "IHSS Homecare Workers were eligible for overtime under federal law in 2015, but the state and county agencies failed to pay it. These employees worked long hours providing important services and are entitled to fair and legal compensation."

    Plaintiffs are represented by Matthew C. Helland and Daniel S. Brome from Nichols Kaster, LLP, which has offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California and Scott Brady and Phillip Bohrer of Bohrer Brady, LLC in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    The case is entitled Ray v. California Department of Social Services and Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services, Case No. 2:17-cv-04239 (Central District of California). Additional information about how to make a claim for overtime pay in the case may be found at www.nka.com or by calling Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll free at (877) 448-0492.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to make a claim:

You must have worked overtime (over 40 hours in a work week) as an IHSS homecare worker, employed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, at any time from January 1, 2015 to February 1, 2016.​

Additional Information

How Do I Join This Case?

In order to be included in this lawsuit, complete an online consent form here. At that link you may also download a copy of the consent form by clicking the button “NEED HELP?” in yellow and then clicking the link “Download PDF.”

What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?

While the federal statute of limitations in cases such as this allows you to recover unpaid wages for hours worked within two years of signing up for the lawsuit (three years if we can prove the company willfully violated the law), the new homecare worker regulations were implemented in January 2015, and we understand that Defendants started paying overtime properly as of February 1, 2016. This means you are eligible to make a claim for unpaid overtime wages for the time of January 1, 2015 to February 1, 2016.

Do I Have To Pay Anything?

You do not have to pay anything to our firms if you join the lawsuit. We are handling this case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief through a settlement, final judgment, or award, and our payment will come only out of that settlement, final judgment, or award.

How Long Will This Case Take?

The length of lawsuits like this varies from case to case. Cases like this typically last two to three years.

What About Retaliation?

The law protects you from retaliation for asserting your rights: it is against the law to retaliate against a person for joining a lawsuit for unpaid wages. If you suffer retaliation, you may be able to assert additional claims. If you are currently employed as an IHSS homecare worker and feel you may be the victim of retaliation for participating in this lawsuit, contact our case clerk, Louis Hunter at lhunter@nka.com or call directly at (612) 256-3224 as soon as possible.

How Can I Help?

Right now, we are hoping to talk to as many IHSS homecare workers as possible to learn more about the case. If you or anyone you know may have any information that may assist us with this case, or are interested in discussing your potential claim, please contact our case clerk, Louis Hunter at lhunter@nka.com or call directly at (612) 256-3224.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about this case, feel free to contact the case clerk Louis Hunter at lhunter@nka.com or call directly at (612) 256-3224. You can also review case updates, which we will post periodically above.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Read full Disclaimer.