Motion to Dismiss Home Care Aides Lawsuit Denied by State’s Top Court

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The New York State Department of Labor’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of home care aides has been denied by the state’s top court.

The lawsuit filed by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice and the Legal Aid Society alleges home care aides only received 13 hours of pay for working a 24-hour shift.

State policy mandates the shift include an unpaid eight-hours for sleep and another three hours for meals, but many aides say that’s impossible given their patients’ round-the-clock needs.

The lawsuit was first filed in August 2023 as an Article 78 Petition and Legal Aid said it aims to reopen a years-long labor department investigation into the “stolen wages of 24-hour home care aides.”

“Despite finding ‘overwhelmingly corroborative’ evidence that home care aides assigned to work 24-hour shifts are systematically subject to wage theft by being forced to work continuously while being paid less than the minimum wage and receiving little to no overtime pay, the NYSDOL suddenly closed hundreds of unpaid wage claims filed by home care aides,” Legal Aid said in a news release.

“These home care workers, the majority of whom are women of color and immigrants, were subjected to unlawful working conditions and wage theft,” said Richard Blum, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit.

“They are owned tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each, and we will continue to hold NYSDOL accountable for enforcing their rights.”