Eight nurses sue Twin Cities Hospital

March 31, 2015

nurse drawingEight nurses who work at Twin Cities Community Hospital are suing their employer claiming the hospital has denied them meal and rest breaks and has shorted their pay.

All eight of the nurses are women who have worked at the Templeton hospital for more than 18 years. Pasadena law firm Traber & Voorhees and San Luis Obispo firm Baltodano & Baltodano filed suit on behalf of the nurses in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

“The purpose of this lawsuit is to change the culture of the hospital so that nurses receive proper breaks and patients receive proper care,” the suit states. “This lawsuit is also about wage theft by a hospital that is more interested in lining its coffers than paying its nurses a fair day’s wage for a hard day’s work.”

The suit alleges that Twin Cities policy prohibits nurses from taking rest breaks unless they find someone to tend to their patients. But, the hospital routinely understaffs in order to increase profits, and there often are not enough nurses on duty to cover for each other, according to the lawsuit.

Additionally, nurses usually do not receive rest breaks until eight or nine hours into their shifts. They also must sign meal wavers, and they do not receive food breaks until late in their shifts, if at all, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit claims that Twin Cities created an alternative work schedule that exempts the hospital from paying an overtime premium for the 9th through 12th hours of nurses’ shifts. But, Twin Cities violates the agreement by forcing nurses to leave early when there are fewer patients in the hospital.

Likewise, the hospital improperly calculates overtime pay by excluding bonuses and other forms of compensation from the formula, the suit alleges.

The eight nurses are suing for underpaid wages plus interest, civil penalties, attorney’s fees, legal costs and any other relief deemed proper.


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Citizen

Remember, this is the hospital that announced they were ready to handle Ebola patients? Yet, they can’t afford to operate at full staffing level, even when they are one of the most expensive hospitals in the US? Check out this article: http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2014/1/9/study-12-of-the-uss-most-expensive-hospitals-are-located-in-calif


“Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, which charges 813% more than actual costs (IHSP Report, 1/9).”


LameCommenter

Wow, from all the comments below you’d think this article was about fire fighters or EasterBunnies; nobody wants to reason against their hallowed-ground side. “Nurses” RN’s, LVN’s, etc are just people doing a very, very well paid hourly job.


While they probably work hard and no doubt the same Obamacare which cost so many of us our plans, cost us our physicians, and doubled out-of-pockets has harmed the medical nursing work environment, I’d still like to hear the employer’s SIDE of this in a lengthy statement or a comparative response, without waiting for the courts or settlement to grind through.


These men and women put on their pants (or scrubs) one leg at a time as we all do, only they do it at a bunch of money per hour. Poor babies, they might have to work overtime or have extra patient load! Just highly paid highly skilled workers, not Saints.


(P.S. recently spent a bunch of time bed-sitting a spinal fusion patient friend in Torrance Memorial (where Obamacare won’t cover me if I become ill, like 2/3rd’s of area hospitals) and the CLUSTER of folks in scrubs at the nursing station seemed relaxed, unbusy, and chatting about March Madness and restaurants. Just an observation).


easymoney

“Nurses are the core of our medical system. If they are good devoted nurses we should treat them with the upmost respect and reward. They are dedicated workers like public safety employees. Thank you all for your calling and service…”

Me too, slobird…

There is a shortage of qualified nurses and care givers. And with the current Obamacare in place, we will continue to see more doctors pulling back on certain care services for plainly monetary reasons. Which opens the door for more qualified nurses, assistant and techs. whom we will be seeing before we see our doctors. Great opportunities for young people looking to make better than average wages and a way to serve…


CentralcoastRN

Well, I am sure you know where I stand on this issue…


Rambunctious

Sounds completely reasonable to me, why did it come to a law suit? Go for it nurses you have a case. I think Twin Cities Hospital could use a dose of wake up juice…


tictac1

It is of course reasonable. It came to a lawsuit for the same reason it usually does in labor issues like this: it is almost always cheaper to lose a lawsuit than abide by the law in the first place. See the results from a similar suit against FedEx; the total lawsuit payout was still less than what the company had saved by breaking the law. Corporations always get special treatment in the courts, you will never see a penalty levied against one that is equal to what a private citizen would get, as a percentage of their earnings.


Mr. Holly

It’s great that we hear that these hospitals are non-profit organization which means they pay little or no taxes. I’m really impressed by their non-profit status after reading stories like this and looking at some of the bills that they produce.

Go get them nurses but in the long run we will end up paying for it.


SLOBIRD

Nurses are the core of our medical system. If they are good devoted nurses we should treat them with the upmost respect and reward. They are dedicated workers like public safety employees. Thank you all for your calling and service…


Robert1

My friend was in Twin a few months ago and the hospital was running a skeleton staff on purpose. He did not receive the physical therapy he should have gotten after knee replacement

because of limited staffing and the nurses were running relentlessly room to room. I went to visit him everyday after work for weeks and saw this for myself.


indigo1955

Go ladies! Get this set straight! I feel empowered myself when I see other women doing it. Love your strength…