$7.2 Million in Back Wages and Damages for 1,100 Nurses in Virginia
The United States Department of Labor announced on January 27th, 2022, that a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia entered a judgment of $7.2 million in back wages and liquidated damages against Steadfast Medical Staffing. The judgment consisted of $3.62 million in back wages and $3.62 million in liquidated damages.
The judgement covers the lost wages of 1,105 employees. The Department of Labor alleges that the medical staffing agency intentionally violated federal law and denied the eleven hundred plus nursing aids, practical nurses and registered nurses overtime wages.
Department of Labor Lawsuit
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh:
“When employers misclassify employees as independent contractors and fail to pay workers their hard-earned wages, the U.S. Department of Labor will hold them legally accountable. In this case, Medical Staffing of America LLC willfully violated the law and shortchanged more than 1,100 aides and nurses of their rightful wages. The court’s judgement means we can finally recover these essential workers’ wages.”
The Department of Labor investigated unpaid overtime at the staffing agency and alleges it discovered employees were misclassified as independent contracts. The misclassification occurred from 2015 to 2022. The result was the staffing agency allegedly paying regular pay above 40 per week, instead of the time and a half overtime pay the nurses were due. The litigation has been ongoing for four years, since 2018.
Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
When a company improperly records an employee as an independent contractor, the employee can lose significant amounts of pay and benefits including overtime set by state law or the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When many workers are simultaneously misclassified, a class action lawsuit can collect unpaid wages and benefits for all affected workers.
Examples of some common differences between employees and independent contracts:
Workers who are assigned the work to be performed, are assigned schedules, have employers control their actions and provides the tools and equipment to do so, are paid by a daily, hourly or salary rate and not by project completion, all while the employee works for the company and not their own business, are typically workers not independent contractors.
Nurse Unpaid Overtime, Unpaid Breaks
Nurses are frequently underpaid for their time and labor. In addition to misclassification, nurses are frequently not paid for meals and breaks despite having to work through them. Many hospital or staffing agencies have automated deductions for lunch breaks, when in reality nurses must still complete rounds, check on patients or update medical records during breaks. The result can be long term underpayment of wages or overtime. Other common issues for medical personnel include time unpaid at the start or end of shifts, including temperature checks or other processes that occur before clocking in or after clocking out.
Wage and Employment Law Firm
If you believe you are not being paid for all of the time you have worked or are not being paid overtime properly, we invite you to schedule a consultation with an employment law attorney from Schneider Wallace. Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP is a national law firm that represents employees in a wide range of employment law cases, including class action lawsuits involving the failure to pay wages, overtime pay and commissions. Contact us at 800-689-0024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information on this website has been prepared by Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP. Legal advertising. The information on this site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel. Results achieved in prior matters are not meant to be a guarantee of success as the facts and legal circumstances vary from matter to matter.