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September 23, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Fairfield County home health care franchisees sued over wage violations

A mother and daughter duo who own several Griswold Home Care franchises in Fairfield County are at the center of a lawsuit alleging a failure to pay overtime and the unlawful deduction of wages from 400 home health aides.

Cathy Howard and daughter Maria Malafronte own Griswold branches in Stratford, Danbury, Bethel and Norwalk. As part of the collective and class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, they and parent company Griswold face charges filed on behalf of home health aides who worked for the company from April 9, 2016 to the present. The class action covers aides who have worked there since April 7, 2011.

Bridgeport resident Ionie Scott was an employee in the Stratford branch from February 2017 to October 2018. During that time, Scott alleges that she was paid $158 for each 24-hour shift and would be paid an hourly rate for assignments that were not part of a 24-hour shift. The lawsuit contends that Scott and other health care aides in Connecticut would regularly work in excess of 40 hours weekly.

“Defendants failed and refused to pay any overtime to any of the home health care aides employed by them,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint also alleges that Griswold failed to provide written or verbal information regarding Scott’s eligibility for overtime pay. It claims the company violated Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines by failing to post that information in a common area that employees could access in what it says “constitutes an attempt to conceal its employees’ rights and discourage them from taking steps to enforce the law as it applies to their circumstances.”

The lawsuit also states Griswold promised Scott and others at least $10 a day for meals, but failed to do so.

The lawsuit seeks certification as a collective and class-action class, liquidated damages  and pre- and post-judgment interest.

Griswold Home Care is headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.