While many employees fight with their employers to receive their earned overtime compensation, some workers have to fight to get paid at all. One company in particular has recently been accused of failing to properly pay its employees in a timely manner.
At Bellflower Medical Center, the nurses allege that they have had their paydays moved around and have been given paychecks that bounced when they tried to cash them. One employee alleges that, since January 11, multiple checks have bounced, some of them repeatedly. For nurses, who often live paycheck-to-paycheck, this can cause much undue hardship and add unnecessary stress to their lives.
The California Department of Labor Relations has fined the medical center $7 million for failing to pay employees in a timely manner and for the bounced checks. The California Department of Labor Relations cited Pacific Health Corporation, which owns four medical centers in California, including Bellflower, $524,300 for the alleged tardy payment of wages and for the paychecks that bounced. The company was also cited an additional $6.5 million for allegedly failing to provide employees with complete and accurate wage statements.
The inclusion of complete and accurate wage statements is very important in employment lawsuits. Without them, employees have no record of how many hours they worked and how much they got paid for those hours. Failure to provide complete and accurate wage statements also reflects poorly on the employer, by making it seem that the employer is trying to withhold earned wages from its employees.
Plaintiffs can use this lack of complete and accurate wage statements as evidence in court that their employer was knowingly and intentionally violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to experienced employment attorneys, if a plaintiff is able to provide proof that their employer willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, that evidence has the potential to double the amount of punitive damages that the plaintiff will be made to pay.
This is not even the first time that the Bellflower Medical Center has been made to pay (literally) for its alleged illegal practices. It has also reportedly been involved in a settlement with the federal government, after it allegedly fraudulently charged Medicare for fake procedures. This is not likely to gain the medical center any sympathy with the public, as Medicare is funded by the government and, by extension, taxpayers.
Our Chicago overtime lawyers have learned that Bellflower Medical Center has allegedly been told that, if it continues to allegedly violate labor laws, it will face further penalties. As of February 2013, the California Department of Labor Relations received reports of delayed wages and insufficient funds on paychecks. Upon further investigation, the department also found that employee benefits were allegedly being deducted from paychecks, but allegedly were not being paid to the benefit providers, resulting in employees having their coverage cancelled.
The Illinois class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against hospitals and large doctor and dental practices and chains for erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online by filling in the form at the side of this blog.
The Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Naperville and Barrington. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Hoffman Estates and Rolling Meadows overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.v