The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit for a group of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) for unpaid overtime. The suit alleges that the home healthcare agency, HPR Medical Services LLC, that the nurses work for has misclassified them as independent contractors. The claim for overtime, of course, is based on the nurses working more than 40 hours a week but not being paid any overtime. The suit is Perez v. HPR Medical Services LLC, No. 2:14-CV-156-AWA in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division.
Source: Virginian Pilot
This case highlights one common violation -- classifying employees as independent contractors -- that is used far too frequently by unscrupulous employers. By wrongly classifying employees as independent contractors a competitive advantage is gained by cheating because labor costs for overtime, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance and workers compensation insurance is eliminated.
The case also raises an interesting question, which is that RNs generally are considered exempt from overtime pay compensation under the learned professional overtime exemption. However, that exemption does not apply if the RNs are not paid on a salary basis and/or if the nurses actual work duties does not include skilled nursing care, or at least skilled nursing care beyond what an LPN is authorized to provide, since LPNs are generally not exempt from overtime pay requirements.
Lexington, Kentucky overtime lawyer Robert Abell helps individuals and employees recover the overtime and wages they've earned but not been paid; contact him at 859-254-7076.