Harris Health System pays out $4M for back OT

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Harris Health System in Houston will pay out more than $4 million in back pay after it failed to include incentive pay when calculating overtime for thousands of hourly staff members.

The payments will go to 4,573 nurses, lab technicians, respiratory care practitioners, X-ray technicians, medical technologists, registered phar­­macy technicians, eligibility audi­­tors and security officers at the system’s 46 locations. Harris Health Sys­­tem operates three hospitals in the Hou­­ston area, along with more than 20 clinics and other health care facilities.

An investigation by the U.S. De­­­part­­ment of Labor’s Wage and Hour Divi­­sion revealed the system used just employees’ base pay to calcu­­late overtime pay when employees worked more than 40 hours per week. It should have included incentive pay as well, because the Fair Labor Standards Act requires overtime to be based on employees’ total pay.

Advice: Periodically review pay records to ensure overtime payments are calculated properly, factoring in employees’ total income, including incentive payments and bonuses.

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