Pennsylvania Record

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Facing class action, health care provider must hand over info on possible class members

State Court

By Takesha Thomas | Jul 9, 2019


HARRISBURG – A home health care provider must hand over documents relating to a class action lawsuit filed by a group of employees for alleged wage violations, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has ruled. 

On June 7, the court quashed an appeal filed by Bayada Home Health Care arguing that handing over contact information of current and former employees to the class action litigants was in violation of privacy laws. Judge James Gardner Colin upheld a lower court ruling from September 2018 that Bayada "must provide discovery of all personal contact information for all current and former employees who could constitute the class members in Pennsylvania within 20 days." 

Judge James Gardner Colins wrote the opinion.

Attorneys for Bayada had argued that the company should not be required to hand over such materials because it is a private, not public, company and the information is "both confidential and proprietary in nature, and implicates informational privacy rights and privacy concerns," court papers say. 

However, the three-judge panel found that attorneys for Bayada failed to "assert a constitutional or statutory privacy interest or a specific privilege" with regard to its argument. Attorneys filing the class action had only requested contact information for current and former employees who could potentially be allowed to file in the class action suit. They did not ask for any additional personnel information such as hourly wages, data or personnel files. 

The appeal was filed after the September 2018 ruling. At that time, Bayada did not seek any clarification if the order required the company to provide complete personnel files and/or wage and hour data of every potential class member, court records state. 

Judges also ruled that information not be issued on former and current employees to any third parties. 

The class action was initially filed by Latisha Reed and Nadeem Pierre in August 2016, alleging that Bayada violated Pennsylvania wage and hour statutes.

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