Memorial Health System agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve claims that its break policies caused employees to work off-hours.
The settlement benefits current and former hourly employees of Memorial Health System who were responsible for direct patient care and who were subject to the company’s automatic meal deduction policy between October 29, 2012 and December 31, 2018.
Memorial Health System is an Illinois-based healthcare system which employs more than 6,700 staff to serve thousands of patients each year. According to the Memorial Health website, the health system treats more than 125,000 patients each year in its four emergency departments and treats even more patients through inpatient and outpatient visits.
According to a class action lawsuit against Memorial Health System and other defendants, health system employees automatically had 30 minutes of time deducted from their shifts as a 30-minute lunch break — whether or not they were able to. actually take an uninterrupted break.
The plaintiffs in the case say they shouldn’t have had breaks automatically deducted from their shifts because they didn’t always get uninterrupted breaks. As a result, Memorial Health System’s break policy would have forced employees to work off-hours.
According to the lunch break class action lawsuit, the healthcare system’s policies violated state and federal wage and hour laws that require companies to pay their workers for all the work they do. The plaintiffs in the case sought overtime and other damages from the defendants.
Memorial Health System and the other defendants have not admitted any wrongdoing, but have agreed to fund a $2.5 million class action settlement to resolve those allegations.
Under the terms of the settlement, class members may receive payment in cash. Payments will vary based on the number of shifts each group member works during the class period.
According to the settlement agreement, each applicable shift will result in one “point”. Then, each party member’s points will be multiplied by $1.19 to calculate the payout amounts.
Half of each settlement payment will be treated as unpaid wages for tax purposes, while the other half will be treated as damages. Group members are responsible for paying taxes on these payments.
Unclaimed settlement funds will revert to the defendants, in accordance with the settlement agreement.
The exclusion and objection deadline is July 6, 2022.
The final approval hearing for the Memorial Health System settlement is scheduled for August 23, 2022.
In order to receive payment from the settlement, Class Members must submit a valid Claim Form by August 5, 2022.