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June 15, 2004
Nurses Receive $614K for Meal-Time Deductions

UMass Memorial Medical Center, Inc. has paid $614,449 in back wages to 367 registered nurses for uncompensated overtime work the U.S. Department of Labor said it found during an investigation at the campus in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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The investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division covered the two-year period from July 2000 to July 2002. The department says that nurses working various shifts at the hospital were not regularly taking 30-minute uninterrupted meal periods; however, the medical center automatically deducted this time from their pay. The registered nurses were paid by the hour and thus entitled to overtime pay under the existing and final overtime rules, the department notes.

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered more than $212 million in back wages in fiscal year (FY) 2003, a 21 percent increase over amount of FY 2002.

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