According to the
New York Times, the Obama administration has started investigating pay practices throughout
the health care industry after hospitals around the country have been
sued based on the failure to pay proper overtime to nurses and other employees
who work more than 40 hours a week.
Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) provides that all non-exempt employees must receive
overtime compensation at a rate of one and one half times their regular
rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek.
Where employers fail to pay overtime compensation, workers may have claims
under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Recently, lawsuits in St. Louis, Boston, and California have recovered
millions of dollars in back wages for employees. In many of these cases,
employees asserted they were improperly classified as exempt. Employees
are typically exempt if they make more than a certain amount of money
per week and if they perform a certain type of “white collar”
work. If they do not fall within one of these or any other exemption,
employers are required to pay overtime.
Employees also alleged they were not paid for all work performed during
off work time – such as during meal breaks. Where employees are
required to work and unable to take scheduled meal breaks, they must be
In response to these lawsuits and a growing concern that health care workers
are often denied sufficient overtime compensation based on similar practices
across the health care industry, the Department of Labor has hired hundreds
of new wage and hour investigators and is looking at practices in health
care facilities across the country.
As one Labor Department official notes, “nursing assistants, licensed
practical nurses, janitors and cooks are particularly vulnerable to wage
For more information, or if you have been denied all the overtime compensation
you are entitled to, please contact
The Buckley Law Firm, LLC, P.C., a Georgia Law Firm dedicated to worker’s rights.