A senior living operator will pay $9.5 million to caregivers across four states who were denied wages for work done off the clock and during meal breaks. The determination follows a district court judge’s preliminary approval of the settlement.
Frontier Management LLC, Frontier Senior Living LLC and GH Senior Living LLC — doing business as Greenhaven Estates Assisted Living — confronted a class action lawsuit filed in 2019 from employees accusing the provider of wage and hour practice violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Frontier, with home offices in Dallas and Portland, OR, manages senior living communities that offer independent living, assisted living and memory care at more than 130 locations across 19 states.
In the lawsuit, the employees accused Frontier of not paying minimum and overtime wages for work performed off the clock, and during meal and rest breaks, and failing to provide accurate, itemized wage statements. The employees said they were “regularly required to work off-the-clock” filling out paperwork, waiting to be relieved of their posts and helping other employees with tasks including transferring residents. Meanwhile, they said, they were not compensated for that time.
Following mediation, a settlement was reached June 8. In an opinion released Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge John Mendez granted preliminary approval of the settlement, affecting 20,662 workers in California employed between Sept. 6, 2015, and March 1, 2022; those in Oregon, employed between July 8, 2014, and March 1; and workers in Illinois and Washington, employed between July 8, 2017, and March 1. The settlement also applies to collective or opt-in employees who worked between March 13, 2017, and March 1.
The average award will be $1,474 per California class member, $884 per Oregon and Washington class member, $589 per Illinois class member and $151 per collective class member.
A final settlement approval hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2023.
Frontier Management did not respond to requests for comment from McKnight’s Senior Living prior to the publication deadline.