Due to staff shortages and budgetary concerns, it’s become a trend for hospitals to ask healthcare workers to work overtime. While some employees want to work overtime, employers often force healthcare workers to work overtime without paying them overtime wages. Failure to pay healthcare workers for the overtime they work is unlawful under New York’s Labor Law. Healthcare workers who haven’t been paid for overtime work may be entitled to damages.

Discuss Your Case With an Unpaid Overtime in Healthcare Attorney 

The experienced employment lawyers at Lipsky Lowe LLP have represented many healthcare workers in unpaid overtime cases. We have successfully taken on New York City hospitals that abused their relationship with healthcare workers by making them work unpaid overtime. If you’ve been forced to work unpaid overtime, or your employer isn’t paying you correctly for your overtime, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

New York Labor Law Protect Healthcare Workers from Unpaid Overtime

Healthcare workers, including nurses and medical assistants, are known for their compassion and desire to care for people in need. Healthcare workers build relationships with their patients and often don’t think twice about working extra to attend to their patients’ needs. Unfortunately, some employers take advantage of nurses’ and other healthcare workers’ desire to help patients. They may try to demand that nurses work overtime without fully compensating them for their hard work.

Under New York’s Labor Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime hours include any hours a healthcare worker works above 40 hours in one workweek. Employers must pay employees overtime pay for all overtime hours worked. In New York, overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay. This regulation applies to all healthcare employees unless an exception. There is currently no limit on the number of hours a health care employee age 16 and older may work in a workweek as long as they receive fair compensation. 

Exceptions to New York’s Overtime Requirements

There are some exceptions to the general rule that hospitals must pay health care workers for all of their overtime hours. Under the FLSA, bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees are not entitled to overtime pay. Employees must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and be on salary to be exempted from overtime payment requirements. 

For example, some nurses qualify as learned professionals. As a result, they are exempted from overtime pay requirements. To be eligible for the learned professional exemption, a healthcare worker must meet the following criteria:

  • The employee is compensated on a salary basis at a rate of at least $684 per week
  • The primary duty must be performing work that requires advanced knowledge
  • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning, and
  • The advanced knowledge must be acquired by a prolonged course of instruction

In most cases, if you work for an hourly pay rate in the healthcare field, you will be entitled to overtime pay. If your employer fails to provide you with adequate overtime pay, you have a right to file a claim against your employer.

As a Healthcare Worker, You Should Be Paid For All of Your Overtime Work

As an hourly healthcare professional, you are entitled to payment for all of the work you do. New York City hospitals and other medical facilities will try many different ways to avoid paying overtime to healthcare professionals. New York hospitals may avoid paying overtime by failure to pay employees for the following:

  • Working during meal breaks
  • Working before or after a scheduled shift without getting credit
  • Attending meetings
  • Attending training
  • Working at related facilities
  • Not including all of the hours worked while on call

Classifying Healthcare Workers as Independent Contractors

Businesses may try to classify their healthcare employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime. If you have been hired as a healthcare provider and your employer gave you a 1099 tax form, you have probably been classified as an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not owed overtime by their employers. Many healthcare employers attempt to classify employees as independent contractors to avoid having to follow employment laws and pay employment benefits.

If you are wearing a uniform, your employer has provided you with a schedule and explicit directions about your work. You are probably an employee, not an independent contractor. We recommend discussing your case with a New York City wage and hour attorney. You may have been incorrectly classified as an independent contractor and be entitled to unpaid overtime benefits and other damages from your employer.

What Damages Are You Entitled to For Unpaid Overtime?

If your employer has not paid you for the overtime you worked, we recommend discussing your case with one of our wage and overtime attorneys. We will carefully review the case and evaluate what types of damages to which he may be entitled. Healthcare workers deserve to be paid for all of the time they put into their work plus any additional damages for the wages the employer owes them. 

If you are a healthcare worker who has been denied overtime wages that you have learned, you have a right to file a claim against your employer. You can seek monetary damages for any time you’ve worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Depending on the facts in your specific case, you may be able to obtain the following types of damages:

  • Attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Back wages for unpaid overtime
  • Double or treble damages based on the amount your employer owes you
  • Interest accumulated on the unpaid overtime 

Our NYC Unpaid Overtime in Healthcare Attorneys Can Help

Lipsky Lowe LLP represents healthcare workers who’ve been denied overtime pay and forced to work overtime. We offer our clients a free initial consultation and flexible scheduling so you can discuss your case and learn about your legal options. If your employer has violated New York overtime laws, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about our legal services.