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In yet another putative class and collective action filed against a large hospital system, an employee terminated for falsification of time records is asserting class claims for violation of federal and state wage and hour laws. Earlier this week, in Deppen v. Detroit Medical Center (pdf), a nurse who was fired for theft of time by falsifying her time records, brought a suit alleging that the hospital systematically failed to pay RNs for off-the-clock work in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Michigan wages laws. In her complaint, the nurse alleges that she and all similarly situated nurses were required to work prior to and after their scheduled shifts, and that no appropriate time keeping methods were in place to ensure payment for the overtime.
In the last year or more, a lot of attention has been focused on the activities of lawyers who have been actively seeking out plaintiffs for potential wage and hour class actions against hospitals. This case is a reminder to healthcare employers that employees who are angry about a termination or disciplinary action and seek legal recourse may likely become named plaintiffs in, and the catalyst for, class or collective actions asserting a variety of claims, including claims for violation of the FLSA and state wage laws.
This entry was written by Paula E. Steele