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DOJ Indicts Four On Wage Fixing Suit

 |  January 30, 2022

A federal grand jury in Portland, Maine, returned an indictment charging four managers of home health care agencies with participating in a conspiracy to suppress the wages and restrict the job mobility of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the one-count felony indictment filed Thursday, January 27, in the US District Court for the District of Maine, four Portland residents: Faysal Kalayaf Manahe; Yaser Aali; Ammar Alkinani; and Quasim Saesah — all owners and/or managers of home health care agencies — conspired to eliminate competition for the services of Personal Support Specialist (PSS) workers by agreeing to fix the rates paid to these workers and by agreeing not to hire each other’s workers. This indictment is the first in this ongoing investigation into wage fixing and worker allocation schemes in the PSS industry.

“PSS workers and other essential workers risked their health caring for others at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The indictment in this case alleges that the employers of these workers colluded to deprive them of opportunities to earn better wages. The Antitrust Division and our partners will investigate and prosecute this conduct to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Early in the pandemic, Maine made additional resources available to ensure that seniors continued to receive in-home care and that essential workers would be able to afford personal protective equipment,” said US Attorney Darcie McElwee for the District of Maine. “The US Attorney’s Office is proud to partner with the Antitrust Division to protect essential workers from the type of conduct alleged in the indictment returned by the grand jury.”

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