June 10, 2013 – Wage and hour class actions in the healthcare industry are on the rise. Among the latest, U.S. Nursing Corp., a California based corporation that provides temporary nurses to hospitals during labor strikes, will pay $1.8 million to settle a wage and hour class action. The case filed in the Northern District of California in 2009, alleges that U.S. Nursing Corp. failed to pay 2,500 replacement registered nurses for the time they spent traveling from their hotels to the hospitals daily and for their 30 minute meal periods each day.
U.S. Nursing Corp.’s alleged failure to pay the nurses for their 30 minute meal period is an illegal practice which commonly occurs in the healthcare industry. While federal law does not require that nurses receive compensation for the 30 minute meal break, California law does have such a requirement.
New York law is less liberal when it comes to meal and rest breaks. Compensation for meal and rest breaks is required for factory, mercantile and manufacturing workers. For New York nurses, meal and rest breaks are covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which does not require that an employer provide an employee with rest or meal breaks. However, New York wage and hour laws do require that employers provide mandatory overtime pay for workers working in excess of 40 hours in one week. Overtime is calculated at one and one-half of the worker’s regular pay.
IMPORTANT: If you have any information regarding a violation of state or federal wage and hour laws, you should speak with experienced employment lawyers who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact the labor law attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP for a free and confidential consultation by calling our 24/7 hotline at 212-605-6200 or toll free at 1-800-988-8005, or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above).
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