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Healthcare Company Pays Over $244K in Overtime Back Wages to Medical Center Employees

October 20, 2011

In a Chino Hills, California employment lawyers blog from earlier this year, our attorneys discussed an overtime lawsuit settlement where UnitedHeathcare paid $934,000 in overtime back wages to nearly 479 employees, along with over $100,000 in monetary penalties, after a DOL investigation found the company responsible for incorrectly classifying several employee categories as exempt from federal labor laws--denying the employees overtime payment for working beyond a forty hour employment week.

According to a related press release from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), 1,064 former and current Oklahoma City registered nurses, certified medical assistants and licensed practical nurses have recently been paid $244,341 in overtime back wages, after the DOL's Wage and Hour Division discovered that Health Management Associates, Inc., the company operating Midwest Regional Medical Center, violated the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to provide employees with lunch breaks, and failing to provide proper time and payment records.

The DOL investigation reportedly found the medical center responsible for illegally taking deductions for employee lunch breaks, even when the employees did not take lunch breaks that were uninterrupted. As a result of this, many employees worked beyond a forty-hour week, and failed to receive any overtime compensation for their time. In addition, the company failed to monitor the overtime hours with proper record keeping.

As our Carson wage and hour employment attorneys have reported previously, under federal labor laws, employees must be paid at least $7.25 for each work hour--the federal minimum wage. If the employee works over forty hours in a work week, the individual is entitled to time and one-half their normal payment rates which includes bonuses, incentive pay and commissions. All employers are required, under federal law, to record time and payroll records that are accurate.

The company, Health Management Associates Inc., operates over 50 hospitals and 400 health clinics in 15 states throughout the country--25 of which are in Oklahoma, along with two of the hospitals. The health company reportedly cooperated with the DOL's investigation and agreed to compensate the employees with $244,341 in back wages, along with agreeing to comply to the FLSA wage and hour regulations in the future.

Cynthia Watson, the regional administer of the DOL's Southwest Wage and Hour Division, reportedly stated the Labor Department will continue to ensure that these health care industry workers, who often endure the demanding and stressful jobs of taking care of the sick and injured, will receive the full compensation that they are entitled to under federal employment laws.

In Orange County, California, contact our California employment attorneys and professionals today, if you have a labor or employment issue. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925.

Florida-based company pays more than $244,000 in back wages to 1,064 Oklahoma City employees following US Labor Department investigation, U.S. Department of Labor, October 3, 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Related Blog Posts:

Hollywood Actors Sued by Restaurant Employees for Wage and Hour Violations, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 22, 2011

DOL Continues to Track Down Federal Wage and Hour Law Violations in the Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2011

T. J. Maxx Retail Chain Sued For Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 25, 2011

DOL Forces Texas Company to Pay $433K in Back Wages For Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 5, 2011

Taqueria Restaurant to Pay Workers Nearly $250K in Overtime Back Pay and Minimum Wages, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 15, 2011

UnitedHealthcare Pays Over $1M in Violations for Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 16, 2011

"White Collar" Exemptions under the FLSA, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 12, 2010

"Exempt" vs. "Non-exempt" in the California Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 15, 2010

California DLSE and Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 19, 2010