Mercy Health is one of the top five largest U.S. health systems and is a highly integrated, multi-state health care system, with locations in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas.
Position(s): Hourly-Paid Employees.
Location(s): Anywhere in the United States.
Time Period: July 2018 through the present.
The Claims in the Lawsuit
Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)
The Complaint alleges Mercy Health, Mercy Health Foundation, and MHM Support Services maintained a meal break deduction policy in which Defendants’ computerized timekeeping system automatically deducts one half-hour from hourly-paid employees’ paychecks each day for a meal break. As hourly-paid employees do in fact perform work during those breaks and are not paid for such work, Defendants violated the FLSA by failing to pay unit registration representatives and other hourly-paid employees:
- for time spent performing work during their purported meal breaks, and
- for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek without overtime compensation.
Violations of the Oklahoma Protection of Labor Act (“OPLA”) and Oklahoma Common Law
The Complaint alleges Mercy Health, Mercy Health Foundation, and MHM Support Services violated the Oklahoma Protection of Labor Act and Oklahoma Common Law by failing to pay hourly-paid employees for all hours worked and deducting time for meal breaks from time worked by hourly-paid employees, and by doing so, Defendants systematically breached their contracts with them.
July 9, 2021: The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The case has been assigned to the Honorable Ronnie L. White
How to Participate
To be eligible to recover unpaid wages under the FLSA as an hourly-paid employee within the last 3 years, you must complete a “Consent to Join” form, which you can obtain HERE.
There is a possibility the Court will certify the claims under the Oklahoma Protection of Labor Act as a class action, on behalf of the following class of persons:
All persons who worked for Defendants in Oklahoma who were or are subject to the automatic meal break deduction policies at any time within the applicable statutory period.
If a class is certified, persons who fall within the class will be notified they are covered and will automatically be included in this case unless they “opt out.” If you are interested in participating in this case or have further questions, please contact our office by emailing “FLSAGroup@jtblawgroup.com or calling (877) 561-0000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Defendant discipline or fire me if I join the case?
No! The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits retaliation and imposes harsh measures against employers who retaliate. For further information, please consult the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet.
Will I have to testify or provide documentary proof?
Not necessarily. Many employees obtain monetary recoveries in Fair Labor Standards Act cases without ever having to appear at court or for depositions.
You are not required to provide documentary proof of your unpaid wages. In most cases, the employer is required to provide the employee’s payroll records to the employee and his or her attorney. In fact, the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that employers keep accurate time and payroll records. The employer cannot escape this duty by requiring you as the employee to provide proof.
However, it is still important that you preserve any physical or electronic evidence relating to the case that you currently possession.
Will Brown, LLC be my attorneys?
Employees who sign Retainer Agreements and/or Consent to Sue forms will be represented by Brown, LLC and Engelmeyer & Pezzani, LLC with respect to the lawsuit and claims described above.
You will not be required to pay any attorneys’ fees or court costs to the Plaintiffs’ lawyers at this time and not pay any attorneys’ fees unless you prevail. Rather, in the event the Plaintiffs prevail in the lawsuit, by either judgment or settlement, the Plaintiffs’ attorneys will request that the Court order Defendant(s) to pay the Plaintiffs’ lawyers their reasonable attorneys’ fees and reimburse them for any expenses.
How long will the case take?
It is very difficult to predict exactly how long a case will take. It depends on a variety of factors including the number of parties and claims involved, the rules and pace of the court, the complexity of the proofs, and the manner in which the employer defends the case.
When and if a settlement is reached, additional time is needed to prepare settlement documents, calculate settlement allocations, and seek and await the court’s review and approval of the settlement. Wage-and-hour cases typically take 2-3 years, but this can be shorter or increase considerably.