Ex-worker sues OSF HealthCare in wage policy dispute

Ex-worker sues OSF HealthCare in wage policy dispute

A policy that requires OSF HealthCare staff to work unpaid meal breaks violates Illinois wage laws, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court against the medical network by a former medical assistant.

In her lawsuit filed in the United States District Court, Christine Hanson accuses OSF of forcing workers to give up 30-minute meal breaks during their shifts.

The hospital network automatically deducted meal breaks from workers’ wages, meaning staff weren’t paid for overtime as required by Illinois’ minimum wage law and payment law and collecting Illinois wages, according to Hanson.

Hanson worked as a medical office assistant for OSF HealthCare in Bloomington from 2016 to 2022.

Hanson’s attorneys at Werman Salas PC in Chicago are seeking class action status for more than 100 OSF employees also affected by OSF’s wage policies. The total amount of lost wages is more than $5 million, according to the lawsuit.

Hanson says OSF staff were interrupted or subject to interruption during their breaks, and in some cases the time away from work amounted to 20 minutes or less.

OSF is aware that employees “regularly perform work ‘out of clock’ hours “during their unpaid lunch breaks, because OSF expects and requires these employees to do so,” the filing said. of the court.

In addition to lost pay during breaks, the lawsuit alleges that the health network’s even-rounding policy deprives workers “of overtime pay for all overtime worked because OSF does not include all working time in the total hours worked of these employees”. The policy rounds workers’ recorded hourly punches to the nearest 15-minute increment.

Attorneys for Hanson and OSF did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

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