Detroit Hospital Hit With Meal-Break Lawsuit

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Detroit Hospital Hit With Meal-Break Lawsuit

A Detroit hospital network automatically deducts 30-minute unpaid meal breaks from nurses’ and technicians’ pay regardless of whether they were actually relieved from their work duties, a former employee said in a proposed class and collective action filed in Michigan federal court.

In a complaint filed Tuesday, Heather Lane said that Detroit Medical Center Receiving Hospital Premier Clinical Co-Management Services LLC required nurses and technicians to keep working through their meal breaks, but still deducted 30 unpaid minutes from each shift.

Detroit Hospital Hit With Meal-Break Lawsuit : Allegations of Missed Meal Breaks

“Nurses and technicians frequently missed meal periods, and even when they attempted to eat, their meal periods were regularly interrupted by work demands,” Lane said.

Lane worked as a nurse at Detroit Medical Center intermittently, first from 2010 to 2017 and then from 2021 to 2023, and was paid on an hourly basis, according to the complaint.

Detroit Hospital Hit With Meal-Break Lawsuit : Violation of Labor Laws

Detroit Medical Center’s policy of automatically deducting 30-minute unpaid meal breaks from workers’ pay resulted in unpaid overtime when nurses and technicians worked more than 40 hours per week, Lane said. The hospital’s practices constituted a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Portal-to-Portal Act, she added.