In case you haven’t heard, two class action lawsuits have been filed against Methodist in Dallas and Memorial Hermann in Houston based on pay alleged to be owed to hundreds of nurses. While details are still coming out about the lawsuits, the plaintiffs’ attorney says that the issue surrounds lunch breaks and the premise that many of the nurses in the lawsuit were not able to take their mandatory 30 minute work-free lunch break as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The nurses remained on-call and without proper documentation that they were in fact on a work-free break. They argue that they are entitled to back pay for that time that they remained on-the-clock.
TNA’s Executive Director was recently interviewed by the Dallas Morning News on the issue, which you can read here.
Without commenting directly on this case or the hospitals or nurses involved, TNA supports nurses’ right to be compensated for the time that they work and the need for nurses to be able to take breaks and avoid unnecessary fatigue. TNA also believes that it is each nurse’s individual responsibility to ensure that their time is well documented and that their needs are adequately voiced. TNA’s Workplace Advocacy Committee has researched nurse fatigue over the past year, and will be working on training and guidance for nurses across Texas to help identify and respond to the signs of fatigue.