Los Angeles County Department of
Public Social Services

No Company is Too Big to Play Fair.

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.

This case is entitled 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)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: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.​

  • Q: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.

  • Q: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.

  • Q: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.

  • Q: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 at ihss@nka.com or call (612) 255-3360.

  • Q: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 at ihss@nka.com or call (612) 255-3360.

  • Q:How Do I Learn More?


    To learn more about this case, feel free to contact the case clerk at ihss@nka.com or call (612) 255-3360. You can also review case updates, which we will post periodically above.

Case Updates

May 11, 2023

Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services Update

In November 2022, we received a decision from the Ninth Circuit regarding the appeal that we argued before them in November 2021. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the County is an employer of the IHSS homecare providers, thus reversing the District Court’s ruling that the County was not liable as an employer of IHSS providers. The Ninth Circuit also ruled that the County did not act “willfully” when it did not pay overtime prior to February 1, 2016. That portion of the ruling means that the overtime claims only have a 2-year statutory period – if the violation were treated as willful, then a three-year period would apply. As a result of this change in the statutory period, several opt-ins lost their claims.

Both parties asked for a rehearing in front of a larger group of judges from the Ninth Circuit (as opposed to just the 3-judge panel that produced this ruling), but the Ninth Circuit informed us and the County that they will not rehear the case. As such, the County also asked the Supreme Court of the United States to rehear the joint-employer issue. We will know in the coming weeks whether the Supreme Court decides to take this case.

Finally, the trial judge originally scheduled the trial to begin on May 2, 2023 but has recently rescheduled it to begin on September 5, 2023. Assuming that the Supreme Court does not decide to hear this case, we do not expect another continuance of the trial date.

August 25, 2022

Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services Update

We are still waiting to hear from the Ninth Circuit regarding their decision on the appeal. We will send an update out to our clients when we hear back and appreciate your patience as we wait. In the meantime, if you need to update your contact information please reach out to ihss@nka.com. Thank you.

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