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Nurses file wage and hour disputes for unpaid meal breaks

The work of a Tennessee nurse is often exhausting. Nurses spend many hours on their feet and may work long shifts with demanding responsibilities. When a nurse has the opportunity to take a break, that time is likely precious and well-deserved. However, recently some nurses in another state have revealed that the hospitals where they work are not granting them the breaks they deserve. The wage and hour disputes between the nurses and their employers may gain class action status.

Nurses from numerous hospitals allege that their weekly hours include an automatic deduction of 30 minutes for a daily meal break. However, the nurses contend they are forced to take those unpaid breaks with their phones in case they are needed by patients or others on the medical staff. If a need arises, the nurses are expected to respond even if they are taking their meals.

A lawsuit filed against the hospital system includes 5,000 nurses, as well as nursing assistants and others. These medical professionals seek compensation for the many times they were forced to work during their unpaid breaks. Apparently, such unfair and illegal practices are common in the medical community. Other hospitals across the country have been named in similar lawsuits in recent years.

Employees deserve fair pay for the hours they work. Laws also provide time for workers to take a break, especially to eat. When employers in Tennessee deny such time to their workers, the workers have every right to seek redress. By consulting an attorney, those employees can discuss ways to resolve their wage and hour disputes.

Source: chron.com, “Nurse says CHI St. Luke’s deducts for meal time but nurses can’t take a break“, L.M. Sixel, Aug. 18, 2017