A nurse at a Texas hospital is suing the facility for forcing her to work during her lunch break, without pay.
Meghan Stewart, a nurse at Memorial Hermann Health System filed a lawsuit against the hospital for expecting her to work throughout her lunch break without being compensated. This is one of many lawsuits that have recently been filed by nurses for similar situations.
Stewart began working at the facility in 2012 and she claims that 4,000 of her coworkers aren't paid for caring for patients during their lunch breaks either.
A lawsuit against Houston Methodist Hospital was settled recently for an undisclosed amount and similar lawsuits are popping up all over the United States against health care facilities as they continue to ignore nurses' and other employees' basic needs during a work day.
According to an employment attorney, Gregg Rosenberg in Houston "It's happening in the oil fields, health care, it's happening everywhere. People are realizing they're not getting paid for the time they've worked."
Cases of this type are on the rise as news of successful lawsuits travels fast.
Several years ago a lawsuit was filed against North Cypress Medical Center. The case was settled even though the facility refused to admit they were at fault. They were ordered to pay back wages, meal breaks and overtime to the nurses involved.
A former Life Flight paramedic sued Memorial Hermann in January, He alleged that the facility instructed he and his coworkers to clock out for lunch each day, but they had to remain at the facility and be prepared to respond to any emergency.
Alex Rodriguez Loessin, a spokeswoman for the hospitals said: "Memorial Hermann is firmly committed to compliance with all employment laws."
Stewart's attorney, Galvin B. Kennedy, said nurses can request to be paid for lunch breaks each day, but this is discouraged by management,
Kennedy also represents the nurses at Methodist and North Cypress.