Steve Hansen successfully resolves RN wage & hour lawsuitMay 20, 2014 —
Stephen M. (“Steve”) Hansen recently resolved an important wage and hour class-action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of Registered Nurses working for MultiCare Health Systems. The RN's were required to work through rest and lunch breaks and perform other off-the-clock work without pay. As a result of the settlement, 778 nurses received the back-wages due to them. Steve was interviewed by numerous Seattle and Tacoma news organizations when the case was resolved.
(TACOMA) – A group of Registered Nurses who worked at MultiCare Health System clinics and hospitals through Western Washington between 2004 and 2010 are finally receiving back wages due to them for time worked “off the clock,” thanks to a class action settlement finalized this month. MultiCare Health System is one of the region’s largest providers of health care services, with locations in Pierce, South King, Kitsap and Thurston counties. $98,336 was paid to 778 Registered Nurses who were part of the class action.
Tacoma attorney Stephen Hansen says that the nurses were often pressured to work through rest and meal breaks without pay.
“Charge nurses routinely told their RN’s not to expect breaks,” Hansen said. "The nurses worked through their breaks and the law required they be paid overtime."
The lawsuit, Malloque v. MultiCare Health Systems, was brought on behalf of nurses at MultiCare’s facilities where nurses were not members of the union. In December 2010, it was consolidated in Pierce County Superior Court with a suit brought by the Washington State Nurses Association, representing union nurses in a suit which alleged nearly identical violations.
RN’s who worked between 2004 and 2010 and participated in the class action were eligible for compensatory damages. MultiCare has sent checks to all nurses in the class action who recorded their missed breaks.
MultiCare Health Systems is a not-for-profit entity comprised of five hospitals (Tacoma General Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Aubern Medical Center, and Allenmore Hospital), numerous primary are and urgent care clinics, multi-specialty centers, and Hospice and Home Health services.
Importantly, as part of the settlement agreement, MultiCare is required to conduct internal training and adopt practices and policies that assure each RN is relieved of patient care duties for a 15 minute rest period every 4 hours. “Should an RN miss a break, that time will now be mandatorily noted to ensure rightful payment,” said Hansen. “MultiCare must follow state employment law, ensure breaks are taken, and pay their RN’s for the time they work.”
Stephen Hansen’s co-counsel was Debra Brewer Hayes (The Hayes Law Firm). Stephen M. Hansen (Stephen M. Hansen Law) can be reached for comment at (253) 302-5955.