When the California Legislature reinstated rules requiring overtime pay for work in excess of eight hours per day back in 1999, some employers thought their labor budgets would skyrocket.
That was especially true in hospitals, where nurses often work 12-hour shifts in exchange for more days off. Some hospitals found ways to reduce OT costs, either by eliminating 12-hour shifts altogether or simply reducing the hourly pay for those nurses that worked the extended shifts.
After more than a decade, a lawsuit over the reductions has been decided.
Recent case: Rosemary Zumbowicz and other nurses working for the Hospital Association of Southern California sued, alleging an anti-competitive conspiracy to fix wages.
But the court pointed out that not every hospital in the association took the same action to lower wages. Only one lowered wages for 12-hour shifts. (Zumbowicz v. Hospital Association, No. B215633, Court of Appeal of California, 2010)