Dignity Health’s timekeeping software denies nurses overtime pay, lawsuit alleges


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Three nurses, who all worked for San Francisco-based Dignity Health at one time, filed a lawsuit against the health system Sept. 10, alleging seven of its regional hospitals denied them overtime pay, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, alleges the seven Dignity hospitals use timekeeping software that avoids paying nurses overtime.

Registered and licensed practical nurses at Dignity Health hospitals typically arrive 20-30 minutes before their shifts begin and stay 10-20 minutes after their shifts end for preparatory purposes, the lawsuit claims. However, nurses aren’t paid for this additional work because the timekeeping software allegedly rounds to the nearest hour.

“The result is RNs and LVNs are only paid for exactly 12 hours of work each shift (which is consistent with their paystubs), regardless of when they actually clock in or out,” the lawsuit states, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

In an emailed statement to the Sacramento Business Journal, Dignity Health said it is reviewing the complaint and that it typically does not comment on pending litigation.

The following seven California hospitals are listed in the complaint: Woodland Memorial Hospital; Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento; Mercy Hospital of Folsom; Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael; Mercy Medical Center Redding; Methodist Hospital of Sacramento; and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley.



Court Strikes Down Overtime Pay Rule


The Department of Labor rule that would have compelled employers to pay overtime to millions of more workers has been struck down by a federal court in Texas.

Agreeing with business groups and the 21 states that had challenged the Obama administration rule, District Judge Amos Mazzant said the pay level in the changed rules was set too high.

What the Labor Department had done was to nearly double the minimum pay — from $455 to $913 a week — for determining what workers were exempt from overtime and what workers were entitled to it.

“This significant increase would essentially make an employee’s duties, functions, or tasks irrelevant if the employee’s salary falls below the new minimum salary level,” Mazzant said in his ruling.

While that was also true of the old salary threshold, the states and business groups that challenged the DOL argued the new pay level was set so high that it would sweep in millions of workers performing managerial, administrative and professional work.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers regardless of how much they earn must be paid overtime, except if they fall under certain exemptions, which largely define them as managers and white collar workers. But over the years, the DOL has adopted a financial test setting a minimum pay as a way to simplify the classification.

Thus, those making less than $455 a week are automatically to be paid overtime. And under the duties test, even workers earning more than the $455 a week are entitled to overtime unless they are “bona fide executive, administrative, professional (or) outside sales employees.” Some types of computer jobs also are included.

The revised salary threshold was to have gone into effect December 1 last year. But just weeks before the deadline, Judge Mazzant issued an injunction which left the old pay level — first adopted in 2004 — in place. The Labor Department appealed the injunction, then reversed course after the Trump administration took office. That left the injunction in place and freed the district court to rule on the merits.

In his ruling, Mazzant said the DOL can use a salary test, but only in conjunction with a duties test.

White House unveils overtime rules, raises cutoff to $47,476


The White House has released the much-discussed and awaited details of the new Department of Labor overtime pay rules, raising the exempt threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 per year — under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime.