Many hospitals, health care providers, and health systems across the U.S. employ registered nurses to triage patients’ medical concerns and questions over the phone. But what may otherwise be an efficient way for those employers to take care of patients can also be a means to rob thousands of call-in nurses of their hard-earned wages and overtime pay.
These unlawful pay practices violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws by failing to compensate telephone advice nurses for time spent:
- Logging into company computer networks and software programs applications before commencing their daily shifts;
- Logging out of computer networks and software applications after ending their daily shifts;
- Logging back into computer networks and software applications after meal breaks;
- Performing other job-related tasks when not handling patient calls.
Whether the RNs are full-time or part-time, and regardless if they work from home, brick-and-mortar call centers, or onsite at hospitals and clinics, these unpaid “off the clock” tasks can account for several minutes each week, often beyond the forty-hour workweek for which nurses may be entitled to time-and-a-half overtime pay.
The telephone nurses who fall victim to wage theft have a variety of job titles:
- Advice Nurse
- Advice Line Nurse
- Call-In Nurse
- Health Advice Line Nurse
- Hotline Nurse
- Nurse On Call
- On-Call Nurse
- Telehealth Nurse
- Telephone Advice Nurse
- Telephone Triage Nurse
Under U.S. law, withholding, denying, or refusing to employees for “off the clock” work is illegal in the health care profession and other industries. The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are currently interviewing current and former advice nurses and call-in nurses who suspect their employers engaged in wage abuse. If you have information that would assist our investigation, please contact us today!