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Clinic may pay over $4M for forcing workers to work off the clock

Even with the rush of the holiday season, Florida employers are still required to allow workers to take their meal periods and be paid for any overtime in accordance with the law. A clinic outside of Florida is facing a class action lawsuit and being accused of several wage and hour violations. These include altering time card records and forcing the employees to work off the clock to avoid paying overtime.

According to the complaint, a medical services coordinator for the clinic is the main plaintiff. She began working at the facility in 2006 and was employed there until recently. The plaintiff was paid on an hourly basis; however, she claims that when she was going to work overtime, she was told to log out of the computer so that her hours would not get tracked, and she would not get paid.

Allegedly, employees were restricted from taking late lunches because, in the state where this case was filed, workers were to be paid for one hour for each of the meal periods that was missed during the first five hours of a shift. The management apparently chose to falsify time records to avoid facing discipline. The plaintiff claims the managers would doctor the time records to show that a meal was taken in the first five hours if one had not been taken.

The class action lawsuit may involve over 500 past and current employees who may have been forced to work off the clock or were otherwise the victims of unfair business practices under the state's Labor Code. The attorney for the plaintiff estimated that the damages could be in excess of $4 million over the course of four years. It is against the law for Florida businesses to force employees to work without compensation and/or the appropriate rest periods. Those who believe that they are the victims of wage theft have the right to pursue claims to try to reclaim the money that they believe to be owed.

Source: noozhawk.com, "Former Sansum Clinic Employee Files Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Overtime Wages", Gina Potthoff, Nov. 30, 2015

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