Update on the Jailhouse Lawsuit that Could Cost Fresno and Tulare Millions

by Norman B. Blumenthal on August 18, 2017

blumenthal nordrehaug & bhowmik, southern california employment law, southern california employment law attorneys, jailhouse lawsuit, overtime pay, overtime lawsuitIn recent news, a jailhouse lawsuit was reported that could cost Fresno and Tulare counties millions.

Summary of the Case:

Corizon Health is a health care contractor providing services for inmates in Fresno and Tulare counties. RNs working in these locations for Corizon are expected to work 12-hour days without overtime pay. According to plaintiff counsel (and supported by documentation), this is in direct contradiction to elections made by the company’s RNs indicating that they did not choose to work 12-hour workdays. Corizon Health faces allegations of violating overtime pay requirements in addition to other violations.

Update on the Case:

In response to the plaintiffs’ claims that the RNs working for Corizon Health opted out of 12-hour workdays, Corizon Health representatives provided evidence of a second “vote” in which registered nurses for Corizon elected to accept the alternative workweek. The originally cited vote took place in August 2014. The second vote Corizon provided information on allegedly took place in November 2014. The RNs rejected 12-hour workweeks in the earlier vote. And the secondary, more recent vote was not filed with the Department of Industrial Relations under the name of Corizon Health. Instead it was filed under the name of the company’s attorneys. The second vote showed 70% of Corizon’s RNs working out of the Fresno and Tulare jails accepting the alternative workweek. As this is over and above the required two-thirds threshold constituting an exception under state law and exempting workers from overtime laws, its existence could make a big difference in the eventual outcome of the case.

The plaintiffs’ counsel indicates that it’s possible the second vote was not proper as it took place only 60 days after the initial vote rejecting the alternative workweek. It was also indicated that there doesn’t seem to be any vote allowing the alternative workweek for the RNs working in Tulare County. There are also more issues in relation to payment by Corizon Health so the new information regarding the second vote will not impede the lawsuit’s progression.

If you have questions about exceptions to overtime law or if you are worried that you are not receiving overtime pay for overtime hours worked, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.

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