MHH Collects $2.9 Million Dollars For Direct-Care Workers In Class Action Lawsuit
In a class action lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court, Albany County, MHH, led by Robert Schonfeld and Nancy Hampton, obtained monetary relief in the sum of $2.9 million dollars for 282 “front-line” workers who provide direct and hands-on care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities residing in community residences.
Pursuant to the Federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, “front-line” employees of our not-for-profit client The Guild for Exceptional Children, Inc. (“GEC”) were entitled to additional compensation for their services during the Covid-19 public health emergency. Those funds were to be distributed by the Federal government to relevant State agencies and those State agencies were required to turn those funds over to agencies like GEC. Upon receipt of the funds, GEC was required to distribute the compensation to its employees. However, due to clerical errors, the compensation owed to these employees was miscalculated and GEC received only a fraction of what its employees were entitled to under the Act.
MHH commenced a hybrid declaratory judgment class action and verified petition on behalf of both GEC and the class of “front-line” workers against the State agencies pursuant to CPLR Article 78 and the Federal law. The State agencies settled immediately and agreed to pay GEC the sum of $2.9 million dollars to be distributed to its employees. Each employee will receive from the fund additional compensation for the services they provided to people with disabilities during the Covid-19 public health emergency, based on employment status and the number of hours they worked during the emergency. That sum will range from $5,000 to $20,000 per employee.