"A new doctor came on board about one year ago and partnered with the existing doctors. The practice hired a new accountant (we found out that the accountant we had used for more than 25 years was "let go" because he was too honest with his work) who instructed the doctors not to let any employees work overtime. Before this new doctor arrived, about five of us regularly worked overtime. None of them work there anymore and I was the only one left up until recently, then they let me go, just before I mentioned to a co-worker that I should have been getting paid overtime all these years. I guess she told the doctor that I complained. One day the doctor took me aside and asked me to cut my hours back to 15-23 hours per week.
I asked them why I couldn't work my regular 40-hour week. They came up with the excuse that I had missed some days. I had to go to the hospital a few months ago and took about four days off due to sickness, definitely not enough to warranty letting me go. I was always dependable, plus I commuted three hours per day and didn't get paid for that. I didn't even get paid when I helped them move offices. As it turned out they had already hired two young girls part-time, neither medically certified to be a medical assistant; in fact they didn't have any qualifications whatsoever. But they were getting paid a lot less than me with no insurance benefits.
They took advantage of me for a long time. Eventually I became stressed out because if I didn't do all this work I don't know what I would have done. They fired the last woman I worked with due to downsizing, but two weeks later another part-time girl was hired. I know she was fired because she also worked overtime.
I did a lot of work over and above my duties. I never took lunch on Fridays - instead I had to write reports for three doctors for the whole week and worked straight through. So they also owe me meal breaks - that's a whole lot of Fridays that I missed lunch.
I cannot live on 23 hours per week. The doctors already had the documents ready for me to sign when these hours were offered to me - in other words they knew I wouldn't accept. They tried to have me sign three papers:
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• 2nd form: Acknowledge that we just spoke about their offer, i.e. offering me so many hours per week. I said no, I am not signing anything.
• 3rd form: One of the doctors followed me back to my desk and said 'Can you at least fill this form in, put your name and address here and sign it so we can send you a check.' I said no -- my address is in the computer and it hasn't changed. I told them to mail my check within 72 hours.
Thanks to this website I connected with a law firm that is helping me to pursue this claim and other issues. From the complaint I filled out at lawyersandsettlements.com, a lawyer recently contacted me. I am going to pursue legal action because I am entitled to overtime and I was forced to quit."