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Traveling nurses sue for unpaid overtime and owed wages

Florida employees who are enduring violations of wage and hour laws may be interested in a class action lawsuit that was recently filed in another state against the managed care consortium, Kaiser Permanente, and the health care staffing and management services company, AMN. Traveling nurses claim that their workloads commonly require them to work for longer than their 12-hour shifts. Any additional time must be remunerated at a double-time rate as mandated by labor statutes. The nurses seek a monetary judgment for unpaid overtime for those hours and for the failure to pay at all for the additional time worked beyond the ends of their shifts.

According to the complaint, each traveling nurse is typically allocated a minimum of five patients to visit per shift. Each visit involves taking blood samples, filling out a patient chart, writing records, physical examining of the patient, administering IVs and more. Performing all of the required duties with proper care for each patient often requires more than the allocated 12 hours per shift.

Moreover, a staff meeting before nurses begin their rounds usually takes 30 minutes or more. Furthermore, handing the shift over to the next traveling nurse -- who is already late because of the staff meeting he or she had to attend before taking over -- often adds at least two extra hours to the shift. Traveling nurses must get written authorization to work overtime, but the plaintiffs allege that supervisors refused to sign these requests as a matter of routine. It is alleged that the lack of supervisor approval makes it impossible to report the actual hours worked per shift.

There is no reason for any Florida worker to tolerate an employer's failure to comply with wage and hour laws. The lead plaintiff who filed this class action lawsuit seeks restitution of owed wages, unpaid overtime and penalties -- both statutory and civil -- for unfair business practices and violations of the labor code. Workers whose rights have been violated in similar ways may utilize the services of an experienced employment law attorney to fight for full and fair compensation for regular and overtime hours worked.

Source: courthousenews.com, "Kaiser Skips Overtime, Nonunion Nurses Say", Rebekah Kearn, April 7, 2016

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