DaVita, a large corporation based in Denver, is facing almost 40 lawsuits alleging that the company violated wage and hour laws. The lawsuits are pending before a federal court.
According to reports, managers at the company were encouraged to violate wage and hour laws in order to meet the goals of the corporation. The corporation serves as the nation’s second largest network of dialysis clinics. These clinics, in turn, offer those with poor kidney function life-saving treatments.
One former employee, who is also a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits, said that DaVita’s culture encouraged supervisors to look the other way when it came to following applicable wage and overtime laws.
He said he even received extra compensation if he managed to schedule employees in such a manner that they wound up working off the clock.
According to the man, another scheme was to make sure that employees would never actually have adequate time to get their work done. This is particularly effective in the medical world since an employee often cannot just pack up and leave if his or her shift ends and leave essential tasks involving a patient’s care incomplete.
Apparently, the goal in doing so was to meet the corporation’s scheduling and other goals without having to pay the cost of overtime or of additional staff.
According to sources, the employees who filed suit are collectively entitled to over $1 million in back pay and other damages.
While this lawsuit is still pending, it serves as an important reminder that workers in the medical profession here in Denver may have to stay late from time to time to perform their jobs, but they may be entitled to overtime pay should they have to do so. For those deprived of this right, legal options are available.