Overtime hours are often the norm for many types of healthcare jobs – ranging from nurses, to techs, to therapists and a variety of administrative and support positions. Gratitude is deserved, but so is overtime pay for most non-managerial employees who are not licensed to practice medicine. Healthcare workers who have been denied proper overtime pay may be entitled to recover up to double their back overtime pay for the past 2-3 years, and this can often amount to $10,000’s in back wages.

Clinical Care Reviewers Recover $4.3 Million

A collective and class action was brought by Plaintiff on behalf of herself and all others employed as a “Clinical Care Reviewer” (also known as prior-authorization or concurrent review nurses) or other similar positions, to recover back overtime pay from AmeriHealth.  

Defendant employed LPNs and LVNs as Clinical Care Reviewers to conduct utilization reviews. As Clinical Care Reviewers, the class members’ primary job duty consisted of reviewing medical authorization requests submitted by healthcare providers against pre-determined guidelines and criteria for coverage and payment purposes. They claimed that this type of work consists of “non-exempt” job duties, and that Clinical Care Reviewers do not satisfy any of the overtime pay exemptions under federal or state law.  They alleged that the job was improperly classified as exempt from federal and state overtime laws and paid a salary with no overtime pay.

The claims were brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and under Pennsylvania state overtime law.

Case Management Employees recover $4.7 Million

The workers covered by this class action overtime case performed utilization review and/or care management work. In performing their work they used the employer’s proprietary patient assessment tools and decision support technology.

Claims for unpaid back overtime wages were brought under both the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employees claimed that their employer used combinations of the same labels – “Coordinator,”“Care Coordinator,” “Care Manager,” and “Case Manger” – interchangeably to refer to the positions held by the class members, who are all care management employees. The employees asserted that their primary job duties included communicating with and gathering data from members to document members’ medical circumstances in the company computer system; inputting member data into a computer system; using established guidelines to maximize utilization of plan resources through application of predetermined criteria; providing information to members and providers regarding plan benefits and resources to address members’ healthcare needs; and working with members and providers to schedule medical care. The employees claimed that their job duties and responsibilities do not fall under any exemption to state or federal overtime laws.

Because licensed practical nurses(LPNs) are presumptively non-exempt under the well established overtime law (meaning LPNs had stronger overtime claims), those who were employed as LPNs received a larger relative recovery of back pay.  While non-LPNs can certainly have valid claims for unpaid overtime, whether they are exempt or non-exempt employees depends on the specific circumstances they are in – whereas LPNs are virtually always non-exempt and entitled to overtime pay.  

Air Ambulance Company Pay $2.95 Million to Flight Medics, Nurses, & Pilots

A global operator of more than 140 air ambulance helicopters in 15 states agreed to pay $2,950,000 to compensate over 400 current and former flight nurses, medics, and pilots for the unpaid back overtime wages claimed in a lawsuit filed under federal and Kentucky state law.

A former flight nurse filed the class action on behalf of flight nurses, flight paramedics, and pilots employed by Air Evac for overtime compensation dating from October 25, 2013, to July 17, 2019.  The company had originally required that an individual work one hundred twenty hours per pay period before receiving overtime pay, but later modified the policy to lower the threshold to eighty-four hours per pay period before being eligible for overtime compensation. The policy ultimately changed to provide overtime pay to all flight nurses, paramedics, and pilots for all hours worked in excess of forty hours per week.  The plaintiffs in this lawsuit alleged that the previous overtime policy violated the federal FLSA and the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act (“KWHA”).

Hospital Pays $107,185 in Overtime Wages

A Hospital based in St. Augustine, Florida paid $107,185 in back wages to 141 employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) after it was determined that the hospital automatically deducted time from emergency room and labor and delivery employees’ timecards for meal breaks even when they worked through those breaks. This unpaid work time resulted in overtime being due when it occurred in workweeks longer than 40 hours. By improperly deducting the time, the employer also produced inaccurate records of the number of hours employees actually worked, violating FLSA recordkeeping requirements.

Even though operated as a non-profit, the hospital must still comply with federal overtime pay laws as non-profit organizations are not excluded from the pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

What to Do If You are a Healthcare Worker Owed Overtime Pay

If you are a non-exempt healthcare worker who has not been paid overtime at all, or have been shorted on the overtime you deserve, there is a good chance that you and your coworkers could be missing out on significant overtime wages. The first thing you should do is begin keeping your own accurate record of all time actually spent working. The next step should be to contact a lawyer who handles overtime pay and wage and hour cases to review your situation.

If you have questions or believe that you have been the victim of wage theft due to an illegal day-rate pay scheme, contact us for a free and confidential review of your situation.

Michael Lore is the founder of The Lore Law Firm. For over 25 years, his law practice and experience extend from representing individuals in all aspects of labor & employment law, with a concentration in class and collective actions seeking to recover unpaid back overtime wages, to matters involving executive severance negotiations, non-compete provisions and serious personal injury (work and non-work related). He has handled matters both in the state and federal courts nationwide as well as via related administrative agencies. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Michael by using our chat functionality.