Air Methods, which provides medical helicopter emergency air transport to over 100,000 patients a year throughout multiple states, will be paying almost $80 million to its employees to settle claims they owed them significant wages. A California judge has given final approval of the $78 million settlement that will compensate flight crew employees for unpaid overtime and missed breaks. The company has also committed to paying its California medical flight crews daily overtime going forward as well which has resulted in an approximate 20% increase in their salaries.
The lawsuit had alleged that Air Methods failed to pay its teams of nurses and paramedics that comprised its medical flight crews for daily overtime when they worked for more than 8 hours per day. This was often the case as these medical teams commonly worked 24-hour shifts. Their overtime hours were then failed to be calculated correctly when they allegedly unlawfully imposed “sleep time” deductions under the Fair Labor Standards Act even though Air Methods did not allow the crews to take any of their off-duty meal breaks or rest breaks. Each medical flight crew member will be receiving more than $100,000 on average from the settlement. Rest and meal breaks are an essential part of many employees’ work days and these time blocks need to be given or paid out correctly under California Law.
Companies may often overlook these breaks and deduct them from your pay when you don’t even get to take them. Make sure your time worked reflects accurately on your pay stubs add up, because otherwise, you may be leaving your hard-earned money on the table. If just one thing is calculated incorrectly on your pay stubs, other aspects of your paycheck may be affected, such as your overtime rate. If you have any concerns or questions about your pay, don’t hesitate to call us, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation at (212) 300-0375. You can also visit our website for additional and helpful information regarding your rights.