Kaiser Owes Call-Center Nurses for Time Spent Logging In and Out

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – California nurses will get roughly $6 million – at their attorneys nearly $2 million – from health care giant Kaiser Permanente for time spent doing unpaid work.

The payout settles a class action filed last year on behalf of 1,397 advice nurses who take calls from patients at three of the Permanente Medical Group’s call centers in Sacramento, Vallejo and San Jose.

Debra Brown, Sandra Morton and Barbara Labuszewski sued in September 2016, claiming Kaiser stiffed them on pay for time they spent logging in and out of call center computers before and after their shifts. Kaiser doesn’t consider call center nurses clocked in until after the log-in process is complete.

Kevin Stoop, one of the attorneys representing the class, said Kaiser is required to pay its nurses for those minutes.

“Under the law, those couple of minutes are compensable. If you took five minutes a day, that’s 30 minutes a week and 26 hours a person is being shorted a year,” Stoop said by phone on Friday. “Those numbers add up quickly.”

Stoop said each nurse will receive around $3,000 under the settlement, an amount he called “not inconsequential.” Some may get up to $9,500.

U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria also awarded the class’ attorneys at Sommers Schwartz and Outten & Golden fees of $1.8 million.

Kaiser did not respond to phone and email requests for comment prior to publication.

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