Montana hospital workers sue employer, claiming underpayments

Workers at Community Medical Center in Missoula, Mont., are accusing their employer of underpaying them, the Missoulian reported Feb. 17. 

The class-action lawsuit was filed Feb. 16 in the Montana 4th Judicial District Court.

The workers allege that Community Medical Center has issued inaccurate paychecks to them since Dec. 12, 2021, that underpaid them based on the number of hours they have worked since then. The lawsuit also alleges that the hospital incorrectly tallied the workers' personal allowable leave since Dec. 12, 2021.

The lawsuit alleges that on or about Dec. 11, 2021, the hospital instructed some or all its employees to begin tracking their time manually. Workers allege that employees followed those instructions but that the hospital did not use the timecards to determine the amount on employees' paychecks. 

"Instead, CMC made the decision to issue employees, including plaintiffs, their paychecks in the amount of their last paycheck before Dec. 12, 2021," the lawsuit said. 

The lawsuit also said workers have varying shifts, various hours of work and different kinds of incentive pay, meaning an employee might have worked eight hours in the pay period before Dec. 12, 2021, and 42 hours including overtime and incentive pay in the following shift.

Workers accuse the hospital of violating Montana's Wage Protection Act and seek a full award of unpaid wages, benefits, compensatory damages, penalties, attorney fees and other costs. 

A spokesperson for Community Medical Center was not immediately available for comment, but Becker's will update the story if a comment is received.

The issue of payment to workers at Community Medical Center was previously highlighted in a letter sent by the Montana Nurses Association on Jan. 4 to hospital CEO Bob Gomes, which was shared with Becker's.

The letter accused the hospital of not accurately paying nurses during several pay periods. 

In a statement shared with Becker's at the time, the hospital attributed the issue to a ransomware issue on its cloud-based timekeeping platform, Kronos Enterprise System. 

As of mid-January, workers at least 11 hospitals were still experiencing payment issues from the Dec. 11 ransomware attack on Kronos Private Cloud.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars