Colorado hospital must face class action over alleged unpaid, off-the-clock work, court rules

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A federal judge revived a class-action lawsuit alleging Delta (Colo.) County Memorial Hospital District did not compensate off-the-clock work performed by hourly staff, according to the Montrose Press.

U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson in Colorado approved a collective action notice March 8, meaning attorneys may send out notices to all hospital employees who may be included in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, originally filed Oct. 15, 2019, by a pulmonology clinic nurse who formerly worked at the hospital, alleges Delta County Memorial allowed staff to be interrupted during their meal and rest breaks. Krystal Gray alleges she and other workers were never completely relieved of job duties during unpaid meal breaks and that the hospital did not pay staff for all time spent working off the clock, according to the report.

Ms. Gray filed for class- and collective-action status, to allow nurses, nursing assistants, aides, technicians and others who are not exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act to join the lawsuit.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Delta County Memorial Hospital maintains it has supported staff and continues to do so.

"DCMH's position is that if an employee takes a lunch, then the organization should not have to pay for that time," the hospital said. "The organization understands that employees sometimes need to work overtime to ensure proper patient care, and this understanding is clearly stated in the organization's policies." 

"The organization will have the opportunity in the future to present its side of the case and is confident that they can prove that employees have been supported and have always been paid appropriately," the hospital said.

Access the full report here

 

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