Nurse sues home health company for not paying overtime

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 11, 2010, 7:54am

SHERMAN-A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed by a licensed vocational nurse against a Sherman home health company for allegedly failing to pay overtime compensation.

Lisa Tice, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed suit against AOC Senior Home Health Corp. and Bonnie M. West on Aug. 9 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants wrongfully classify nurses as exempt for overtime compensation or simply do not pay them overtime compensation they are owed in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Tice states that at the beginning of her employment, she was given a form to sign to choose either to be paid overtime or to be paid "straight time." If she chose the straight time option, she would not be paid time-and-a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

She states that other nurses explained that if she picked the overtime option, she would not be given hours in excess of 40 hours per week. Tice states she needed as many hours as she could get and chose the straight time option.

Within the lawsuit, Tice argues "an employee cannot waive her right to compensation under the federal overtime laws without Department of Labor or Court approval."

The defendant allegedly employed more than 150 employees in the last three years, who were not paid time-and-a-half for those hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for overtime compensation, lost wages, liquidated damages, interest, court costs and attorneys' fees.

Tice and the proposed class are represented by Wylie E. Kumler of Melton & Kumler of Austin.

Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:10cv00400

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