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Hospital Workers Reach $475K Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

This is a settlement for the Employment lawsuit.

Scranton, NJ: A preliminary settlement has been reached in an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit pending against Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, its related facilities and some 600 workers. The employment lawsuit alleges the hospital failed to properly calculate overtime pay prior to a 2012 change in New Jersey state employment law.

Under the proposed $475,000 settlement, $300,000 would be divided among the workers. A final approval hearing is set for April 17 under US District Judge Robert D. Mariani.

The lawsuit was originally filed in February 2011 Michele Sakalas, a licensed practical nurse at General, against Wilkes-Barre Hospital Co. LLC and Wyoming Valley Health Care System. It later became a class-action lawsuit with 583 class members.

The lawsuit centered on the "8-80"method, which involves paying overtime whenever an employee works more than eight hours per day, or more than 80 hours in a two-week pay period. In July, 2012, Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law permitting use of the 8-80 principle for health care workers. The settlement period extends for more than four years, from February. 11, 2008, until that date.

According to the settlement notice, each of the 583 workers would be entitled to 70.04 percent of the total amount that he or she was underpaid during the covered period. The total amount of each worker' underpayment was calculated "by an unbiased accounting firm,"the notice states.

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Published on Feb-18-14


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