As the novel coronavirus continues to plague the United States, those who serve on the frontlines are now facing a new danger–wage violations. According to reports by The Daily Gazette, Denise Davella filed a lawsuit earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Albany, N.Y. claiming that Ellis Hospital has broken state and federal law by denying lunch breaks and withholding overtime pay.
The suit alleges that Ellis Hospital required Davella and other employees to be on duty or available during meal breaks, but deducted the 30-minute break from the worker’s shifts. In addition, working through breaks pushed employees’ workweeks above 40 hours, however, they were not paid overtime wages.
Unfortunately, the frontline workers of Ellis Hospital are likely not the only ones being treated unfairly by their employers. What can be done for these essential employees who are risking their lives for us? Brown Kwon & Lam has the answers.
Under the New York Labor Law Section 162, the following details the length of lunch and rest breaks in which New York employees are entitled to:
- Non-Factory Workers are entitled to a 30-minute lunch break between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for shifts six hours or longer that extend over that period and a 45-minute meal break at the time midway between the beginning and end of the shift for all shifts of more than six hours starting between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- All Workers are entitled to an additional 20-minute meal break between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. for workdays that extend from before 11 a.m. to after 7 p.m.
While employers may give additional rules on break periods, at the bare minimum, New York employers must follow these mandates. In addition, while employees may choose to take their meal breaks at their workstation, they must be completely relieved from duty during that period of time. An employee is not relieved if he or she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, during that period.
In addition, if these breaks are not given, by default in most employee cases, overtime work has been done, meaning compensation should be given for those times, not deducted.
However, when employees are not given their breaks and are not compensated for working through them, there needs to be legal intervention, especially if this has been brought to the employer’s attention and no move towards remedying it has been made.
Our hospital workers are on the frontlines during a global pandemic. They have rights that need to be protected.
Brown Kwon & Lam: Overtime Lawsuits in New York For Hospital Workers
If you are employed by a hospital or medical facility in New York and your breaks have not been given or you have not been paid overtime for your hours worked, you need Brown Kwon & Lam. We will represent you in your overtime violations case and make sure your rights as a frontline employee are protected. Contact the New York employee rights attorneys today.