Methodist Health denies it improperly deducts pay from nurses for meal breaks

A nurse filed a collective action lawsuit in July claiming Dallas-based Methodist Health routinely fails to compensate nurses for time worked during meal breaks. Methodist Health denied that claim in its answer to the complaint filed last week.

A nurse at Methodist Dallas Medical Center filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of as many as 1,000 nurses at five Methodist Health facilities. In the lawsuit, the nurse alleges Methodist Health hospitals violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by routinely docking nurses' pay for meal breaks they do not take, according to The Dallas Morning News

Methodist Health nurses are allotted a 30-minute meal break during each shift, and their pay is reduced accordingly. However, the plaintiff claims nurses are responsible for patient care during their breaks, which frequently causes their breaks to be cut short, according to the report.

In its answer to the complaint filed Oct. 11, Methodist Health denies the nurse's claims. The health system said the plaintiff was "properly compensated in accordance with FLSA," and asked the court to dismiss the nurse's complaint with prejudice.

On Oct. 12, the judge ordered the parties to submit a joint status report on the case by Nov. 2. 

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