Nurse Overtime Class Actions

Class actions are lawsuits with a number of different plaintiffs who suffered identical or similar harms caused by the same defendant under similar factual situations. In the employment law context, class actions are fairly common as supervisors or bosses tend to harm a group of subordinates in a comparable manner. In the nursing industry, overtime class actions have been filed on behalf of nurses who were denied proper overtime pay under state and federal labor codes. These codes typically provide time and one-half for work over 40 hours per week, for work performed on seven consecutive days and possibly work beyond eight hours in one day.

In one state class action, nurses employed by one of the largest hospital networks in the jurisdiction demanded overtime payment and wages unpaid by a facility. Court documents filed by the plaintiff class revealed a shoddy attempt by the hospital to miscalculate and under-report employees’ hours- stiffing them out of valuable time and one-half and double pay overtime. In addition to overtime manipulation, the complaint alleges that supervisors frequently ignored state laws requiring rest and meal breaks for workers. Nurses were working ten-hour shifts (and greater) and not receiving more than one meal or rest break.

State labor codes set certain requirements with regard to overtime payment in order to ensure that nurses are not overworked by understaffed or overzealous healthcare institutions. The system serves as a type of checks-and-balances on businesses to dissuade them from working nurses to the point of exhaustion- which can lead to costly and deadly mistakes.

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