Physician Assistants Overtime Pay Lawsuit Certified

Physician Assistants Overtime Pay Lawsuit Certified

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Physician assistants have received conditional certification in their collective action wage and overtime pay lawsuit against Nason Medical Center, an urgent care facility in South Carolina. The federal judge’s granting of conditional certification means around 40 current and former Nason Medical Center physician assistants who were allegedly denied overtime wages may opt-in to the collective action. The next step in the physician assistants’ claim is to notify all potential class members of their opt-in rights and evaluate the potential denied wages of the class members.

The Physician Assistant Claim

Daniel Caskie, the physician assistant who filed the claim last fall in federal court, claimed Nason Medical Center denied him and other similarly situated physician assistants overtime pay of one and a half their regular rate when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Caskie claims the medical center denied the physician assistants overtime compensation for several years, yet regularly required them to work more than 40 hours each week. According to Caskie’s claim, Nason Medical Center also required its physician assistants to clock out for meal breaks, even though they were frequently required to work through their meal breaks or their breaks would be interrupted. By clocking out and continuing to work, the physician assistants were working off the clock and Nason Medical Center was allegedly receiving their labor for free during that period of time.

The lawsuit claims Nason Medical Center violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act when it denied the physician assistants overtime pay and proper compensation for all of the hours they worked. Nason Medical Center, on the other hand, claims physician assistants were not intended to receive overtime protections under the FLSA because physician assistants are highly compensated and not the typical employees subject to rampant wage violations. However, the physician assistants were hired as hourly employees, which typically, though not always, means the employees are non-exempt and entitled to overtime wages, regardless of their hourly rate.

Qualifying For Overtime Protections

The FLSA and most state wage laws were created to address and protect low wage employees and other employees who were historically subject to overwork and wage theft. Both state and federal wage laws provide exemptions for certain professions or job types and one of the factors for the exemptions is the amount of compensation the employee is receiving. However, compensation is not always the key factor in determining whether an employee is exempt from wage or overtime protections. In fact for most exemptions, the level of discretion, autonomy, and professional training associated with the positions are more important than the compensation an employee is paid.

So, while highly compensated employees tend to fall within one of the state or federal wage laws’ overtime exemptions, not all of them do. If you believe you have either been misclassified as exempt or your employer is simply not paying you the overtime to which you are entitled, contact our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers today. Our legal team can be reached at (855) 754-2795 or through our Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.

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