Healing Hands Healthcare (Divine Healers, Inc.)

Case Information:

This is a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action where the class members include Healing Hands’ RNs, LVNs, Providers, and CNAs.  The lawsuit alleges that Healing Hands paid these individuals at straight time rates for all hours worked, even in weeks where the individual worked more than forty hours.

The lawsuit requests lost overtime wages, liquidated (double) damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees.

Click here to read the Complaint in this case.

Those who wish to join the suit must fill out the Consent Form by September 27, 2018.

Status Updates

April 15, 2019 - Bench Trial Occured

On April 15, 2019, the parties tried the case before the Court.  Healing Hands admitted liability and the amount of unpaid wages, but contested that liquidated damages were appropriate or that it willfully violated the FLSA.  We are still awaiting the Court’s ruling.

August 1, 2018 – Order Granting in Part Plaintiff’s Motion for Contempt and Sanctions Entered

On August 1, 2018, the Court entered an Order sanctioning Divine Healers.  The sanctions equitably toll the statute of limitations from December 22, 2017 until June 19, 2018.  The sanctions also required that Plaintiff’s counsel send out a Corrective Notice to all class members to address potential improper communication by Healing Hands with the class.  You can read the Court’s order and the Corrective Notice here.

July 24, 2018 – Show Cause Hearing Held

On July 24, 2018, we attended a show cause hearing before the Magistrate Judge.  During the hearing, the Court orally ordered sanctions against Healing Hands, tolling the statute of limitations and ordering Plaintiff’s counsel to send a corrective notice to all of the class members.  The Court indicated it would soon enter a written order.  The Court’s minute entry reads:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Frances H Stacy. SHOW CAUSE HEARING on [38] Plaintiff’s Motion for Civil Contempt and Sanctions held on 7/24/2018. Motion for Contempt is DENIED; Motion for Sanctions is GRANTED in PART. Plaintiff’s counsel is to draft and provide the Court with a proposed Order that provides for equitable tolling of the limitations and a corrective class notice, with the corrective notice to be sent to potential class members by August 3, 2018, and additional time, until September 7, 2018, for potential class members to respond to that corrective notice. Counsel shall have serious, in-person settlement negotiations by September 19, 2018. Appearances: Larry Boje, Daniel Anthony Verrett. (Court Reporter: ERO) (Digital # 10:10-10:31) (ERO:J. Olsen), filed.(gclair, 4)

July 11, 2018 – Plaintiffs File Second Supplement to Motion for Civil Contempt and For Sanctions

On July 11, 2018, we filed a Second Supplement to our prior Motion for Civil Contempt and For Sanctions against Healing Hands.  You can read the Second Supplement here. The Second Supplement presents evidence that a human resource employee of Healing Hands called a class member in April 2018 and told the class member Healing Hands was being sued and she would be contacted by lawyers but that the lawsuit did not pertain to her because she did not work there during the time period covered by the lawsuit.  Plaintiffs contend this violates the Court’s prior order that “the parties and their counsel are ordered not to make any communication to any member of the Class that has the purpose or effect of influencing his or her decision as to whether or not to join the lawsuit.”  Therefore, Plaintiffs have asked that the Court order Defendant issue a corrective notice to every member of the Class.

July 2, 2018 – Plaintiffs File Supplement to Motion for Civil Contempt and For Sanctions

On July 2, 2018, we filed a Supplement to our prior Motion for Civil Contempt and For Sanctions against Healing Hands.  You can read the Supplement here. The Supplement advises the Court that Healings Hands has produced the necessary telephone numbers and reiterates Plaintiffs’ request that the Court sanction Healing Hands by (1) the tolling of the statute of limitations and (2) awarding Plaintiffs’ the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing Healing Hands into compliance with the Court’s order regarding the production of telephone numbers.

June 27, 2018 – Court Enters Show Cause Order

On June 27, 2018, the Court entered a show cause order, requiring that Healing Hands appear before the Court at a hearing to show cause why it should not be held in contempt for its failure to comply with the Court’s prior order.  You can read the Show Cause Order here.  The Show Cause Hearing is now set for July 24 at 10 AM.

June 20, 2018 – Notice Delivered to Class Members

On June 20, 2018 we sent out the Court-approved Notice and Consent Form.  Those who wish to join the suit must fill out the Consent Form by August 19, 2018.

May 17, 2018 – Plaintiffs File Motion for Civil Contempt and For Sanctions

On May 17, 2018, we filed a Motion for Civil Contempt and For Sanctions against Healing Hands.  You can read the motion here. The Motion requests sanctions because Healing Hands did not produce the telephone numbers of the class members for text message notice.  Therefore, the motion requests that the Court hold Healing Hands in civil contempt, order Healing Hands to comply with the Court’s prior order to produce phone numbers, and award Plaintiffs sanctions against Healing Hands.  The sanctions requested are (1) the tolling of the statute of limitations and (2) awarding Plaintiffs’ the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing Healing Hands into compliance with the Court’s order regarding the production of telephone numbers.

May 17, 2018 – Plaintiffs’ File Motion for Summary Judgment on Liability

On May 17, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment on liability.  In the motion—which you can view here—Plaintiffs argue that Healing Hands’ practice of paying class members straight time rates for all hours worked violates the FLSA.  Therefore, Plaintiffs request an order finding Healing Hands liable for the class members unpaid overtime wages.  The specific amount of damages will be proved at a later date.

April 27, 2018 – Plaintiffs Move to Add Healing Hands’ Owners as Defendants.

On April 27, 2018, we filed a motion to add Healing Hands’ owners, Steven Ayodele and Afolake Ayodele, as defendants in the lawsuit.  The motion alleges that Mr. and Mrs. Ayodele managed and supervised Healing Hands’ business, were intimately involved in the day to day operations of Divine Healers, Inc., and were involved in the decision to pay Plaintiffs’ in an allegedly unlawful manner.  You read the motion here.

April 12, 2018 – Court Orders Supplemental Notice

On April 12, 2018, the Court ordered that Healing Hands produce all known telephone numbers for class members within seven days.  The Court also ordered Plaintiffs’ counsel to send a text message notice of this lawsuit to the telephone numbers disclosed by Healing Hands.  You can read the Court’s order here.

February 7, 2018 – Court Certifies Class

On February 7, 2018, the Court conditionally certified a class of current and former RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and Providers who worked for Healing Hands any time since August 4, 2014.  The Court also directed Plaintiffs’ counsel to send all class members a court-approved notice regarding the lawsuit and a consent to join the lawsuit by U.S. Mail and e-mail.

The Court’s order allows the parties and their lawyers to answer questions about the case but prohibits the parties and their lawyers from communicating with any member of the class in a way that has the purpose of effect of influencing his or her decision as to whether or not to join the lawsuit.

Healing Hands cannot retaliate against these individuals for joining the lawsuit.  This means they cannot be fired, demoted, or have their pay cut because they participate in the case.

Eligible individuals who would like to participate in the lawsuit must fill out the “Consent to Join” form by September 27, 2018.

December 22, 2017 – Motion for Conditional Class Certification Filed

On December 12, 2017, we filed a motion for conditional class certification and for judicially supervised notice.  In the motion, which you can read here, Plaintiffs asked the court to certify a class of RNs, LVNs, CNAs, and Providers who worked for Healing Hands any time since August 4, 2014.  Plaintiffs also requested that the Court authorize Plaintiffs’ counsel to notify all potential class members of this lawsuit and of their ability to join the lawsuit.

August 8, 2017 – Complaint Filed

Click here to read the Complaint in this case.