Oregon nurses accuse CommonSpirit of wage theft, missed payments

Members of the Oregon Nurses Association have filed a class action lawsuit against Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health alleging wage theft and missed payments at its Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Ore., and St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Ore., according to court documents shared with Becker's

The lawsuit, filed Feb. 10 in Oregon's Circuit Court for Marion County, alleges that CommonSpirit underpaid many nurses and allied health workers while also claiming it overpaid certain workers after a ransomware attack hit the health system last October. Becker's has reached out to CommonSpirit and will update this story if a comment is received.

CommonSpirit "knowingly and without permission withheld wages of its employees from future paychecks to reimburse itself for the possible overpayments," the lawsuit states. "The amounts CommonSpirit Health asserts were overpaid are estimates only and have not been verified. Further, the wage withholdings blatantly violate the requirements of Oregon wage laws."

Plaintiffs LaRae Ernst, Jennifer Najera and Amanda Smith filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated current and former CommonSpirit employees.

The lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid wages and damages they say are owed to all workers at CommonSpirit facilities in Oregon. Plaintiffs estimate CommonSpirit may owe as much as $200,000 in unpaid or improperly withheld wages to workers and that the health system could face up to $800,000 in statutory penalties and damages.  

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