Courtroom Gavel

A $2.5 million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging that a senior living operator violated state law by allegedly requiring employees to accept their final wages via ATM cards and blank checks has received preliminary approval from a judge.

Janee Johnson had sued her former employer, Sunrise Senior Living, in December 2014, also alleging that employees who received the “pay kit” upon separation from the company did not receive all of their wages when their employment was terminated and that Sunrise did not provide a legal pay stub at that time.

The class action status for the settlement, initially approved by Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, would apply to any Sunrise worker in California (where the lawsuit was brought) who received the kit between Dec. 31, 2010, and May 3, the date of the preliminary settlement approval.

Sunrise, according to, citing court documents, had held that the kit was not contrary to California code because employees could choose between the card and checks and because they could obtain all funds immediately without incurring fees.

Representatives of Sunrise Senior Living and the plaintiffs’ attorneys did not respond to requests for comment from McKnight’s Senior Living by the production deadline.