Cerner pays $4.5M to settle lawsuit regarding overtime wages

Julie Spitzer -

After more than three years of litigation, North Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR vendor Cerner has agreed to pay a $4.5 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging it failed to pay employees overtime wages, Missouri Lawyers Weekly and KCUR report.

Terms of the deal may never be publicized, as Cerner has asked for court permission to file the agreement under seal.

Cerner "adamantly denies" wrongdoing, but said it agreed to settle to avoid "negative public attention" surrounding the lawsuit.

"Accordingly, Cerner determined that settlement was in its best interest, provided that plaintiff agreed not to prevent Cerner from taking certain steps to try and ensure that the terms of the settlement are not part of the public record," Cerner wrote in its motion, according to KCUR.

A Cerner employee filed the case in 2015, alleging Cerner violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it exempted delivery consultants and systems analysts from receiving overtime pay. Four similar cases have been filed in federal court — as well as a fifth in Cass County Circuit Court — and were settled on undisclosed terms. Those cases also alleged Cerner misclassified employees to avoid paying them overtime wages.

The court hasn't yet approved Cerner's motion to file the case under seal. Pat Stueve, a Kansas City attorney who specializes in class-action litigation, said it was unlikely Cerner would win that battle.

"[In] those circumstances," Mr. Stueve told KCUR, "it is unusual for a court to allow the settlement to be filed under seal unless there is a showing of special circumstances."

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