A Philadelphia woman who formerly worked as a medical biller for Best
Behavioral Healthcare Inc. has filed a class action lawsuit against the company on behalf of herself and others similarly situated that alleges the defendant failed to properly pay the employees overtime wages.
The named plaintiff in the litigation is Ivelisse Montes, a Northeaster Philadelphia resident who was employed by the defendant for the past three years as a medical biller, where she was responsible for completing medical billing paperwork, collections, and communications with insurance companies.
Montes was an hourly employee who made $9 per hour when she was first hired, and $12 an hour at the time of her firing, the suit says.
The woman never received overtime pay despite the fact that she regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per week, the lawsuit states.
The defendant, the complaint alleges, failed to compensate Montes at the rate of time-and-a-half for each hour that she worked in excess of the required 40 per week.
The same could be said for the other class members, the lawsuit states, who include current and former employees who were non-exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In addition to the healthcare agency, the other defendants named in the complaint are John Does 1 through 5, who are identified as those employed by the defendant who are responsible for directly, or indirectly, aiding, abetting or assisting with creating the company’s policies and practices that resulted in the plaintiffs failing to receive overtime pay.
Additionally, there are five John Doe defendants who are said to have control over processing payroll for Best Behavioral Healthcare Inc., which is based in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood.
The collective plaintiffs, or proposed class members, in the complaint are described as those who have or had similar job duties, substantially similar pay provisions, and are subject to the defendants’ alleged unlawful policies and practices.
The complaint says there are “numerous similarly situated current and former employees of Defendants who were compensated improperly for overtime work in violation of the FLSA and who would benefit from the issuance of a Court Supervised Notice of the instant lawsuit and the opportunity to join in the present lawsuit.”
In addition to the FLSA, the defendants are also accused of violating the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
“Defendants intentionally failed to pay Named Plaintiff and those similarly situated overtime compensation earned while in their employ,” the suit reads. “As a result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Named Plaintiff and those similarly situated have suffered harm.”
In addition to seeking class certification, the plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory damages, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and legal costs.
The complaint was filed on Jan. 9 at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by New Jersey attorneys Justin L. Swidler and Richard S. Swartz of the firm Swartz Swidler.
The federal case number is 2:14-cv-00121-JD.