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Unpaid Meal Break Overtime Case Filed Against Northwood Healthcare Group and Garden Healthcare Group


Our experienced unpaid Overtime Lawyers have filed a collective and class action lawsuit against Northwood Healthcare Group and Garden Healthcare Group (“Northwood and Garden”) for failing to compensate their hourly healthcare employees for all overtime hours worked.

Northwood and Garden operate at least 14 rehabilitation and nursing centers throughout Ohio including: Whispering Hills, Crestline, The Pinnacle, The Pavilion, Buckeye Terrace, Legends Care, Country Meadow, Mt. Airy Gardens, Rocky River Gardens, Country Lane Gardens, Rolling Hills, Capital City Gardens, Prestige Gardens, and Maple Gardens. If you worked at one or more of the above locations within the past three years, we encourage you to contact our office for more information.

On December 15, 2022, Coffman Legal, LLC filed a Collective and Class Action Complaint against Defendants Northwood and Garden on behalf of hourly healthcare employees for their alleged failure to compensate their hourly healthcare employees for all overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”); the Ohio overtime compensation statute, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4111.03; and the Ohio Prompt Pay Act, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4113.15.

The Complaint alleges that Northwood and Garden do not pay their hourly healthcare employees all overtime wages to which they are entitled because they has a policy that requires a daily meal break deduction, usually of thirty (30) minutes, from their hourly healthcare employees’ hours worked. This meal break deduction is taken from their hours worked regardless of whether or not these employees are actually receiving a fully uninterrupted meal break, which is referred to as a “bona fide” meal break. Although employers are permitted by the law to make these deductions, they may only do so if their employees are receiving bona fide meal breaks.

However, if employees’ meal breaks are missed, shortened, or otherwise interrupted by job duties, then employers must pay employees for the full length of their meal breaks. Similarly, employers cannot deduct a full meal break from employees’ hours worked if such break is essentially “split up” into multiple smaller breaks throughout the workday. Because Northwood and Garden allegedly took these  unlawful meal break deductions for non-bona-fide meal breaks, their hourly healthcare employees have accrued unpaid overtime. The Complaint alleges that such conduct is a willful violation of federal and state wage and hour laws, including the respective overtime laws.

This lawsuit provides an example of various ways in which an employer like Northwood and Garden may underpay their employees in violation of the FLSA. This unpaid overtime adds up over the course of weeks and years. The FLSA sets forth the minimum compensation employees must be paid, including overtime pay, and non-exempt hourly employees are entitled to receive full and proper compensation under the FLSA.

The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages since December 15, 2019, liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid overtime (or, in other words, 200% of the unpaid overtime damages total when liquidated damages are also included), attorneys’ fees, and costs, among other things. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division and is entitled Gifford v. Northwood Healthcare Group, LLC and Garden Healthcare Group, LLC, Case No. 2:22-cv-04389.

Additional information about the unpaid overtime collective and class action against Northwood and Garden may be found by contacting our office by phone at 1-888-619-2729 or emailing If you have any questions about whether you are being properly paid for all of the compensable hours you work, including during meal breaks, then contact our office today to speak with our experienced overtime attorneys regarding any wage and hour issues, including unpaid overtime.


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