Travel nurses who saw pay slashed fight back with lawsuits

The number of traveling nurses boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now many find their wages slashed to 50 percent or less upon renewal. Traveling nurses are fighting back with lawsuits claiming the companies are using "bait-and-switch" tactics, NBC News reported Dec. 28.

This summer, Kansas City, Mo.-based Stueve Siegel Hanson, a Missouri-based law firm, filed class-action lawsuits against four travel nurse agencies: Aya, Maxim, NuWest and Cross Country. As of Dec. 27, all were still pending, according to the report.

The suits allege that the companies offered nurses agreements at high rates and then slashed their pay after they signed. Many of the alleged incidents occurred in March and April, when the demand for travel nurses began to drop.

In a statement given to NBC News, Aya said allegations of bait-and-switch "are demonstrably false."

"As is evidenced by [one nurse's] employment with Aya," the statement continued, "nurses also received mid-assignment pay increases at various times during the pandemic. Further, we understand when the government reduced subsidies to hospitals following the height of the pandemic, they in turn reduced pay to travel nurses."

Maxim, Cross Country and NuWest said they could not comment on pending litigation.

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