of Veterans Affairs accused of requiring off-the-clock work for years
D.C. – Advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants and other
health care professionals employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
are one step closer to getting their day in court through a lawsuit claiming
they have been required to work off the clock for years.
W. Michael Hamilton of Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P., in Nashville and David M. Cook of Cincinnati’s Cook & Logothetis, LLC, are leading the
lawsuit on behalf of the VA health care workers. The U.S. Court of Federal
Claims in Washington, D.C., last week announced a Nov. 16 deadline for the
plaintiffs’ amended complaint in Mercier,
et al. v. The United States of America, No. 12-920C.
looking forward to taking depositions of VA officials who have required thousands
of nurses to work an untold number of hours for no pay at all,” says Mr.
Hamilton. “We plan to prove that our clients were put in the horrible position
of having to either work off the clock or face disciplinary measures.”
lawsuit seeks overtime pay for eligible VA employees from 2006 to the present.
The plaintiffs say the VA has required them to perform extensive patient-related
work for no pay using their VA facility computers, home computers and/or VA-supplied
laptop computers, which include instructions for logging in from home. Those
who do not complete the extra work are subjected to additional scrutiny from VA
management, including disciplinary measures such as being written up for poor
time management, the lawsuit says.
nurses and physician assistants are working ridiculous hours trying to save
veterans’ lives or simply make their lives better, and they’re being punished
for it, which is shameful,” says Mr. Cook. “These crucial health care workers
are the primary clinical contact for countless veterans, but they’re not being
paid for all their work.”
the VA employs more than 80,000 nurses in more than 1,400 medical centers and
outpatient clinics in all 50 states, making the VA the largest employer of
nurses in the U.S. The number of VA health care workers who may be covered by the
ongoing lawsuit is unknown, but Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Cook estimate that as many
7,000 could be eligible if the lawsuit is certified as a class action.
About Provost Umphrey
For 50 years, Provost Umphrey’s mission has remained to seek justice for
those most in need – those who have suffered a personal injury or death due to
the wrongful conduct of others. Our attorneys fight for our clients nationwide
with offices in Beaumont and Houston, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee. Provost
Umphrey continues to be one of the most successful trial law firms in the
nation by remaining Hard-Working
Lawyers for Hard-Working People. More information at http://www.provostumphrey.com
About Cook &
Cook & Logothetis protects workers’ rights in a variety of employment and
labor law matters, including the representation of labor unions. The firm
provides more than 37 years of experience in wage-and-hour claims, workplace
disputes, wrongful terminations, disability claims, class-action litigation,
and many other areas of law. Cook & Logothetis “does well, by doing good.” More information at http://www.employmentjusticelaw.com.
For more information on the VA lawsuit,
please contact Bruce Vincent at 800-559-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.