Defendants Cardinal Autism Services and Cornerstones Autism Services are a leading provider of home-based Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) therapy services to children and teens with autism. They are headquartered in Lincolnwood, Illinois, and operate in Colorado, Illinois Indiana, Florida, and Texas.
Position(s): Behavior Therapists (“BTs”) and Registered Behavior Technicians (“RBTs”)
Location(s): Colorado, Illinois Indiana, Florida, and Texas.
Time Period: February 2017 to present
The Claims in the Lawsuit
Failure to Pay for All Hours Worked
The lawsuit alleges that Defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, (“FLSA”), Illinois Minimum Wage Law (“IMWL”), and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (“IWPCA”) by failing to pay BTs and RBTs for all hours worked, including:
- Time spent recruiting colleagues and acquaintances to work as BTs and RBTs;
- Time spent training;
- Time spent in sessions with clients that was not paid due to technical glitches with Rethink;
- Time spent travelling between clients’ homes and/or other locations at which sessions took place;
- Time spent waiting for clients to appear at sessions that were cancelled; and
- Time spent performing work outside of their scheduled client sessions.
Failure to Reimburse Work-Related Expenses
The lawsuit alleges that Defendants violated the IWPCA by failing to reimburse work-related expenses incurred by BTs and RBTs who worked in Illinois, including:
- Driving their personal vehicles between work locations (except that Defendants did reimburse BTs and RBTs for some trips between non-training sessions so long as neither session was cancelled and the BTs and RBTs drove the route proscribed by Defendants);
- Use of their personal mobile devices to communicate with Defendants’ management, staff, and clients, and access Rethink; and
- Supplies needed for BTs’ and RBTs’ home offices and for sessions with clients.
Unauthorized Collection of Fingerprints
The lawsuit alleges that Defendants violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) by requiring BTs and RBTs in Illinois to scan their fingerprints on their mobile devices in order to access Rethink and “Paylocity,” without obtaining their prior consent.
- 2/21/20 – The Complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and has been assigned to Judge Virginia M. Kendall.
How to Participate
To be eligible to recover unpaid wages under the FLSA as a BT and/or RBT within the last 3 years, you must complete a “Consent to Join” form, which you can obtain HERE.
There is a possibility the Court will certify the claims under the IMWL, IWPCA, and/or BIPA as a class action, on behalf of the following class of employees:
All current and former Behavior Therapists and/or Registered Behavior Technicians who worked for Defendants in Illinois at any time within the applicable statutory period.
If a class is certified, persons who fall within the class will be notified they are covered and will automatically be included in this case unless they “opt out.” If you are interested in participating in this case or have further questions, please contact our office by emailing “FLSAGroup@jtblawgroup.com or calling (877) 561-0000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Defendants discipline or fire me if I join the case?
No! The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits retaliation and imposes harsh measures against employers who retaliate. For further information, please consult the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet.
Will I have to testify or provide documentary proof?
If you have records relating to your work with Defendants, please keep them until we ask you for them. However, you do not need to have records of your work hours to be included. If Defendants did not keep accurate time records, most courts will permit you to make a “good faith” estimate of your work hours. We will seek any records the company has of your hours worked. Please ensure you do not destroy any documents or data you have that relate in any way to your work for Defendants.
Do I have to pay anything?
No, you will not have to pay us anything out of your own pocket. We are handling this case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or an award, and that payment will only come out of that settlement or award.
How long will the case take?
The length of this kind of lawsuit varies from case to case, but they typically last one to three years.