Perry Co. hospital to pay over $60K in back wages for nurses shortchanged by timekeeping issues
PERRY CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act now has the Perry County Memorial Hospital paying back over $60,000.
Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor say over 100 nurses were impacted by the findings.
The department’s Wage Hour Division released findings of an investigation on Wednesday into the hospital.
“This was affecting their overtime hours to some of these employees who weren’t able to take their full lunch break, or their lunch break was being interrupted,” said Lacey Houle, Community Outreach Specialist for the Wage Hour Division.
According to the release published on the Department of Labor’s website, it read that the hospital violated the following three things:
- Deducted 30-minute meal breaks after six hours worked, without verifying if employees used meal breaks.
- Failed to include incentive pay – such as shift, longevity and referral bonus – when calculating an employees’ hourly rate of pay for overtime purposes.
- Incorrectly recorded hours worked within a pay period, which denied some employees overtime for hours over 40 in a workweek.
“Issues that occur could affect their overtime, or it could also bring a worker below minimum wage,” Houle said.
Houle says the Wage Hour Division considers an investigation closed once the violator is in compliance and the money has been paid back, which Houle says has been done.
“Our Wage Hour Division investigation has already been concluded, and the employer had already agreed to come in compliance during the investigation,” Houle said.
On Thursday, Perry County Memorial Hospital released the following statement in response to the situation:
“Perry County Memorial Hospital’s most valuable resource is its team members, who demonstrate everyday their commitment to serving our community. The hospital fully cooperated with the Department of Labor and its process to ensure team members have been appropriately paid.”
Houle says that if in the future the Department of Labor returns to find more violations, the hospital could face civil money penalties or liquidated damages as a result.
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