Hospital Has Big Overtime Bill For Not Watching the Fine Points of FLSA
by Michael Fox
HR Next has the story of Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center in Chicago's agreement to pay over $600,000 in back pay for overtime following an audit by the Wage and Hour division of the DOL. The hospital's blunder - they just paid overtime after 80 hours every 14 day pay period. Wage and Hour is normally determined on a 7 day workweek period, but there is an exception for hospitals which allows a 14 day work period, but to qualify an employer must pay the greater number of overtime hours figured over 80 hours in the 14 day period or after 8 hours in a day. 29 CFR § 778.601. The period covered 18 months and the payment amount doesn't appear to include liquidated damages which would have been likely if this had been a case brought as a collective action.
It points out the benefits of not only paying close attention to the wage and hour regulations, but also to the advantage of considering working through the DOL if you have a problem rather than waiting for a plaintiffs' employment lawyer to pick you off.