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Wisconsin Nurses Win $3.5M Settlement in Unpaid Overtime Class Action Settlement

This is a settlement for the Nurses Overtime lawsuit.

Madison, WI: A $3.5 million settlement has been reached in a nursing unpaid overtime class action lawsuit brought by nurses at St. Mary' Hospital in Madison.

In their complaint, the 1,400 nurses alleged the 440-bed hospital failed to pay them for meal breaks when they had to remain in the hospital on call. The nurses worked at the hospital over a four-year period.

Roberta Fosbinder-Bittorf, who filed the class action in 2011, worked at the hospital since 2006. She alleged she was unable to take a full 30-minute meal break during her 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift, because she was told that she must remain in the range of hospital' public announcement system, in case she had to respond to a patient emergency.

Nursing overtime lawsuits are on the rise. Some overtime lawsuits for nurses have been based upon missed meal breaks. Other nurses overtime lawsuits received settlements for work before and after shifts. Across the US, millions of dollars in settlements have been paid out for nurses wage and hour lawsuits.

Many hospitals and residential health care, assisted living and group homes do not pay proper overtime to nurses and other employees. Health care industry pay practices are the target of 250 new Labor Department wage-and-hour investigators (an increase of one-third), as reported by The New York Times (Aug 2010). Fewer than 36 percent of employers investigated in New York were in compliance with federal overtime law.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires an employee pay rate of at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and payment of one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay for any overtime hours worked in excess of 40 each week, unless employees are found to be exempt.

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Published on Jul-30-13


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