Donald F. Fontaine : Attorney at Law
Phone

97 India Street 
Portland, ME 04101 
dff@fontainelaw.com 


Public

Granite Bay Care Jury Finds Owners Liable for Overtime Pay Along With the Corporation

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

On November 8, 2013, a federal jury found that the owners of Granite Bay were responsible for the failure of Granite Bay to pay their “Adult Foster Care Providers” overtime pay. In June, 2013, after the Court found the Company itself liable for six years of back pay under the State law, Granite Bay would not give up and pay.

We wrote the following description of the status and what the future would hold:

If Granite Bay does not pay immediately, then the rest of the case will be tried in court with respect to the federal claim and whether the owners, Mr. Mumpini and Ms. Aliciea, will be personally liable in addition to the liability of the company they own, Granite Bay Care.

This is what happened last Friday. In addition, the jury rejected the Company’s arguments that the employees were really “independent contractors” and that they were exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act because they allegedly worked in private homes. The jury said the the “homes” were not private homes, but Granite Bay’s places of business. The jury verdict was unanimous.

 



Class Action Filed Against Getchell Agency

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Our office has recently filed a class action suit against Getchell Agency, Inc, on behalf of  two former employees of the Bangor business, which provides residential and support services to people with physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities. These dedicated caregivers were forced to sleep on couches in the living room, on the floor, and in rooms together with co-workers of the opposite sex.  They often had to give care to their needy charges for hours in the middle of the night without any compensation.

According to an investigation conducted this Spring by the Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 100 employees were deprived of in excess of $500,000 in back wages and did not have private sleeping quarters. Although employees were on duty 24 hours a day, they were only paid for 16 hours.

The rules are clear: all hours that people work must be paid, even overnight hours, unless a private bedroom is provided and the workers agree to what nighttime hours do not need to be paid.

See the recent write-up about the case in the Bangor Daily News.

Download (PDF, 71KB)



Big victory for caretakers of the disabled

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

In a Decision dated May 30, 2013, the federal court ruled that Granite Bay Care is liable for up to six years of back overtime pay for all the five plaintiffs. This ruling was based on state law.

All that remains to that part of the case is to calculate the damages. Besides the pay that theemployees lost during up to six years of employment, they are entitled to an equal amount as liquidated damages. They are also entitled to their attorneys’ fees.

The Court issued a 50 page Decision, essentially finding that there was no reasonable argument in favor of the the type that the employer had attempted: namely, that these employees were not employees but rather “independent contractors.” The Court stated that to say otherwise would be to permit Granite Bay to contract out the “heart of its business.”

The Court ruled that considering the eight factors that are used to determine if someone is an employee or an independent contractor that none of the eight factors pointed in the direction of Granite Bay’s argument that they were independent contractors.

All that remains is the damages. The plaintiffs are now calculating the wages that are due.

If Granite Bay does not pay immediately, then the rest of the case will be tried in court with respect to the federal claim and whether the owners, Mr. Mumpini and Ms. Aliciea, will be personally liable in addition to the liability of the company they own, Granite Bay Care.

The Court also ruled that defendants Granite Bay Care and the individual owners both failed to prove that they made a good faith mistake based on the advice they received from the United States Department of Labor.

The Fontaine Law office litigated this case in cooperation with attorney Lisa Butler of Bangor.

Download (PDF, 267KB)

 



Day v. Town of Baileyville

Monday, January 21st, 2013

A group of employees working for the town of Baileyville were mislead by the town for 10-30 years. These police officers, public works employees, and library aides were told that they could not be in the Maine Public Employees Retirement Plan, although they were entitled to be. This case is currently in state court. We want the town to pay all the back contributions, even though they were supposed to come out of the employees pay weekly, because the employees cannot pay the contributions now:  $19,000 to $46,000.



Affo v. Granite Bay Care

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

This is a federal court suit for group of caregivers who take care of disabled people in a homelike setting. The caregivers of Granite Bay Care worked 80 hours per week, and more, and yet were denied overtime pay. The company invented a deceptive scheme of part salary and part hourly pay. It calls the employees “Independent Contractors” and refuses to pay them time and a half for the approximately sixteen hours per day that they work overtime (or eight overtime hours per day if the “sleep” time is not counted.) The federal court will soon decide the case.



Wages sought for guards of government buildings

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

The law firm recently filed in state court an unpaid wages claim for many security guards who guard U. S. government buildings in Maine. The guards are forced by their employer, MVM Inc to report 10-20 minutes before their shifts begin and work without pay. Beal V. MVM, Inc.



White v. Spurwink Services

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

The law firm has pending in federal court a wage claim for the caregivers of Spurwink Services of Portland — workers who are not paid for all the hours they work and not at the correct overtime rate.

 




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