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$6.2M Settlement Reached in Permanente Call Center Nurses Unpaid Wages Class Action Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Employment Law - California lawsuit.

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Santa Clara, CA: Preliminary approval of a $6.23million settlement will be granted potentially ending an California unpaid wages class action lawsuit against Permanente Medical Group Inc. The lawsuit was brought by call center-based nurses who alleged they weren’t compensated for time they spent booting up and shutting down their computers. Some 1,325 nurses that staff the Kaiser Permanente system are involved in the lawsuit.

The proposed settlement includes $10,000 for each of the three class representatives. Each of the 1,325 estimated class members who have worked at the call centers since September 2012 will receive a share of the settlement monies calculated on actual hours worked.

The class action was filed in September by nurses who worked at California call centers in Sacramento, San Jose, and Vallejo and who were not paid for all their off-the-clock work. According to the allegations, logging into necessary computer programs took between four to 10 minutes, and could take as long as 30 minutes, due to technical problems. The approximate two minutes it took between clocking out and shutting down the computers also went uncompensated, according to the complaint.

The nurses claimed that this violated advice from a 2008 US Department of Labor fact sheet on call centers, which stated that employers should pay for work “from the beginning of the first principal activity of the workday to the end of the last principal activity of the workday,” including “starting the computer to download work instructions, computer applications and work-related emails.”

Further, the nurses claimed that they were never truly off the clock during their lunch breaks and rest periods, as it took several minutes to log back into their computer systems before their breaks ended.

The case is Brown et al. v. Permanente Medical Group Inc., case number 3:16-cv-05272, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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