Cedars-Sinai To Pay Workers Withheld Overtime Wages
Officials for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday announced that the hospital would pay employees $875,000 in overtime wages after an internal audit found that some employee timecards had been improperly altered by hospital officials, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital performed the audit at the request of the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, which received a complaint from a Cedars-Sinai employee in April, according to agency spokesperson Dean Fryer. "Through our investigative process, through interviews with employees, we determined there may be problems that may go beyond just a few employees, so we asked [Cedars-Sinai] to do a self-audit," Fryer said. Hospital officials said that the overtime pay was withheld because employees had clocked in to work before their shifts began and hospital officials had later changed the timecards to deduct the unearned pay. However, the California labor code prohibits employers from deducting wages to recover payments, Fryer said, adding that the "appropriate route" would have been for the hospital to take disciplinary action against employees who did not follow the rules for "clocking in" for their shifts. Cedars-Sinai would have to file claims for damages in court to contest the payments, according to the Times. Fryer said that the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement believes that the self-audit was fair and will not pursue the issue further (Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.