Mason, IL-Former workers for one of the country’s largest assisted living companies have scored a victory by winning a $2 million lawsuit to settle allegations that they were not fairly compensated.

In the class-action lawsuit, former employees for Emeritus alleged the company shortchanged them in their pay and violated states law which mandated rest periods and meal breaks, a report from ProPublica revealed. The lawsuit also stated that employees were not compensated for training sessions.

An in-depth investigation by ProPublica and PBS Frontline discovered that Emeritus was concerned about their appeal as publically traded company. Executives viewed cuts in the labor costs was an effective way to attract investors and maintain their profitability. ProPublica and PBS found that the labor cuts at Emeritus lead to staffing shortages many of their facilities, leaving the staff with toxic attitudes toward their work and wages.

Emeritus, though they lost the lawsuit, denied the allegations stating that they have adequate staffing at over 500 of their facilities. They vehemently deny the allegations that their facilities are understaffed.

On their website, Emeritus says that resident care and treating their worker fairly has always been their priority and pushes back on the notion that they would place their profits above their employees or their patients. Propublica did not report any that any incidents of neglect had occurred at any of Emeritus’s facilities.

Care givers with have negative feelings about their employer or their workloads could very well neglect or abuse residents in a nursing home or assisted living center. Optimal care in a nursing home is dependent on the relationship between the care giver and their charges. It takes experience and time to learn and understand the needs of residents. Nursing home staff care for multiple patients and their understanding of their needs and temperament are crucial to providing the best care for residents.

ProPrublica explains, “Experts agree that one of the leading causes of neglect, elopement and abuse in nursing homes is inadequate staffing.” They add, “Neglect is often not intentional, but nursing home staff are often overworked and underpaid, this can sometimes make it easier to forget about a patient’s needs.”

Researchers for the University of Maryland’s Center of Aging J. Kevin Eckert and Erin Roth explained to ProPublica that the quality of care at nursing homes is directly tied to how well the employees are paid.

Emeritus could have put their profits above their employees and, though not outright or willfully, their residents. By not paying their employees comparable wages and short changing them created an environment that is bad for employee morale and leads to high employee turnover.

The primary goal of any long-term care facility should be to take care of their patients and employees. When an Illinois facility fails at this, and an elderly or disabled person is abused or neglected at a facility, a Mason nursing home abuse attorney can make certain these facilities take responsibility for harm they have caused to a patient or their families.