Employer:                                   North Sunflower Medical Center

Investigation site:                  840 N. Oak Ave.

                                                          Ruleville, MS 38771

Investigation findings: Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the employer – a healthcare facility providing services to the Humphrey, Leflore and Sunflower tri-counties area – automatically deducted 30-minute lunch breaks from some employees’ hours without making sure they were free of work-related tasks and able to take the breaks. Investigators learned that, several times a week, some of the facility’s nurses need to work through lunch breaks to update patient records. By automatically deducting 30-minute lunch breaks, the employer failed to account for all the hours that the nurses worked, which led to violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions.

The division also determined that North Sunflower Medical Center did not combine employees’ hours when they worked in different departments at the facility, and failed to use the total number of hours worked when calculating additional half-time rates owed to these employees. In addition, investigators found the employer failed to maintain an accurate record of hours worked for employees.

Back Wages Recovered: $201,436 for 110 workers.                                   

Quote: “Employers must combine all hours employees work at separate locations and pay overtime on the total number of hours worked,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “The costly consequences that come with errors like these can be avoided with help from the Wage and Hour Division. Depriving healthcare workers their full wages makes it hard for them to care for themselves and their families. These people provide essential services to our community and must be paid every dollar they’ve earned.”

Background: Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division expert in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s timesheet app for free.  Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.

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