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November 05, 2003
Hospital to Pay $600K in Back Overtime Wages
Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center of Chicago has agreed to pay $614,914 in back pay for overtime hours worked by 939 current and former workers, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

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The Wage and Hour Division's district office in Chicago conducted an investigation of the medical center in September 2001. The Labor Department says it found that the medical center generally paid overtime pay after 80 hours in a 14-day period. As a result, some workers were not paid time and one-half for some overtime hours.

Under federal law, hospitals and residential-care establishments may adopt, by agreement with their employees, a 14-day work period instead of a seven-day workweek. However, employees must be paid time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked over eight in a day and 80 in a 14-day work period, whichever is the greater number of overtime hours, accoridng to the department. The medical center paid overtime pay after 80 hours but did not generally pay overtime pay after eight hours in a day.

Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center of Chicago did not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to perform a self-audit to determine back wages owed to employees. The Labor Department says it supervised the hospital's audit covering the period from September 1, 2000 to March 30, 2002.

The audit covered registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nurse assistants, housekeepers, dietary workers, laundry workers, medical technicians, clerks, secretaries, transporters, security staff, material handlers, therapists and other positions.

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