Standard employment law requires an employer to pay an employee one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for each hour they work in excess of eight hours a day or forty hours a week. In the case of Lemmons v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc. Kaiser allegedly failed to properly record all of the hours worked by its employees in order to avoid paying them overtime.
Jozette Lemmons worked as a “Site Support Specialist” for Kaiser beginning in April 2006. At that time she was hired as an overtime-exempt salaried employee. However, in December 2008 she was reclassified as an hourly employee who was not exempt from overtime compensation. Lemmons’s job was to provide end-user support to patient care and business process teams to facilitate the introduction, acceptance, integration, and use of Kaiser’s new computer system, HealthConnect.
The work schedule for the Site Support Specialists requires them to work eight hours in a workday, forty hours in a work week. In addition, they are required to remain on “stand-by” or “on-call” in accordance with Kaiser’s rotation plan. Each rotation lasts for a full 7-day workweek and is required to be undertaken by each Site Support Specialist at least once every 15 weeks. During this time, upon returning home from at least an eight-hour workday, the designated Site Support Specialist is required to remain on-call for the entire night, every night of the week, without any additional compensation. They are also required to remain on-call from 5pm Sunday to 5am Monday, when they report to the employer’s worksite for their “regular” workday. Kaiser allegedly fails to accurately record the on-call hours worked by the Site Support Specialists, meaning they are allegedly not paid for their overtime hours. Instead, the employees are allegedly only paid when an actual on-call service job has been completed. Kaiser expects Site Support Specialists to respond within 30 minutes of being called from 6pm to 5am Monday through Friday and 5pm to 8:30am on the weekends. In order to accomplish this, Site Support Specialists allegedly must remain in close proximity to their computer and home where they must log onto Kaiser’s secure system to perform their on-call duties, meaning they cannot engage in any activity which would hinder their ability to immediately respond to the hospital’s call.
A Site Support Specialist’s position and duties allegedly do not require them to regularly use discretion or their own judgment (requirements for being exempt from payment for overtime in California). Lemmons is therefore filing suit on behalf of herself and all other individuals who either do work or have worked for Kaiser in California since October 6, 2008. There is also a California Labor Sub-Class which consists of all individuals who either do work or have worked for Kaiser since June 2009.
By allegedly failing to pay its employees for all of the hours that they work, Kaiser has allegedly used illegal practices in order to prevent employees from receiving their due wages and has prevented the reporting and payment of employment taxes to the state and federal governments. Additionally, Kaiser has allegedly gained an unfair advantage over its competitors who follow the law and pay their employees for all hours worked.
The Class is therefore seeking reimbursement for all of their alleged unpaid earned wages, plus interest, statutory costs, any statutory penalties against Kaiser, and an injunction against Kaiser which would prevent it from ever again participating in these alleged illegal acts.
The attorneys at Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour cases including overtime, meal breaks, vacation pay, and tips. We have offices conveniently located in Oak Brook Terrace and Chicago, Illinois. Contact a Deerfield wage and hour attorney at the Chicago Overtime Law Center today at 312-869-4095 or fill out our online form.