St. Michael hospital settles class-action lawsuit over unpaid breaks

BREMERTON – St. Michael Medical Center has settled a class action lawsuit by a nurse who alleged staff were inadequately compensated for lunch and other breaks.

The 2019 lawsuit, filed in federal court by a nurse on the hospital’s former Bremerton campus, alleged that the nurses’ unpaid breaks and 30-minute lunch break were “continuously interrupted,” contrary to US labor laws – Violates Washington State and Federal Fair Labor Law.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, the hospital system that owns St. Michael, reached a settlement on the case in late January. This is evident from court files filed last month. The billing amount is not known.

“While we disagree with the results in this case, we believe that the best use of our resources is to focus on quality patient care and the well-being of our dedicated staff during this pandemic, rather than building a legal battle further,” said Cary Evans, VMFH vice president of communications and government affairs.

“Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is committed to treating all of our employees and all of the patients we care fairly fairly,” Evans said in a statement sent via email.

The lawsuit states: “Rather than having nurses clock out their meal times and come back at the end of a meal time, the defendants assume that nurses are able to find a 30-minute block of time to get a meal in good faith to enjoy.” In fact, this usually doesn’t happen. ”

The nurses’ attorneys, which include Seattle-based Terrell Marshall Law Group and California tailor Wallace Cottrell Konecky, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Austen Macalus is Kitsap Sun’s social reporter – covering health care, homelessness and how programs help people in poverty. He can be reached at [email protected] or 360-536-6423.

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