LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Almost 200 University Medical Center employees have been paid back wages after an overtime dispute that was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The settlement was paid to resolve overtime and record keeping violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a news release from the DOL. UMC has paid a total of $119,175 back to its employees.
Investigators found UMC automatically deducted 30 minutes for lunch from the emergency room staff regardless of whether they took time off or not. The hospital failed to relieve employees of duties, and failed to track break times accurately.
"The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they have earned for all of the hours that they work," Ryan Martin, Wage and Hour Division assistant district director in the Lubbock Area Office, said in the release. "Wage violations can be avoided when employers understand the rules. We encourage employers to contact us for guidance on laws governing rest breaks and any other requirements so they can avoid violations. The division offers many tools to help employers comply."
UMC released this statement on Friday afternoon:
"UMC worked cooperatively with the Department of Labor to review and resolve this matter. Automatic deductions for lunch has been a standard practice for many hospitals and other health care facilities. UMC had methods by which employees could report a missed lunch, but those methods were not effective in capturing all missed lunches. UMC no longer uses automatic deductions. UMC values its employees and works to assure accurate payment."