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Columbus Employment Attorneys / Blog / Collective and Class Actions / Registered Behavior Technicians Sue Hopebridge for Unpaid Overtime for Unlawful Break Policy and Other Off-the-Clock Work

Registered Behavior Technicians Sue Hopebridge for Unpaid Overtime for Unlawful Break Policy and Other Off-the-Clock Work

Hopebridge RBT overtime lawsuit

Coffman Legal’s Ohio FLSA Overtime Attorneys filed a Collective and Class Action Lawsuit against Hopebridge, LLC for failing to compensate its hourly, non-exempt registered behavior technicians (“RBTs”) for its companywide unlawful break policy, including that it required RBTs to clock out for all breaks and “meal breaks” regardless of how short. Hopebridge maintained a written policy that required RBTs to clock out for all breaks of 15 minutes or more, but it required employees to clock out for all breaks. Despite clocking out for a “meal break,” RBTs regularly performed work during such breaks. In addition, registered behavior technicians performed other off-the-clock work, including before, during, and after their shifts as more fully explained herein.

On October 14, 2020, the law firm of Coffman Legal, LLC filed a Collective and Class Action Complaint against Defendant Hopebridge, LLC (“Hopebridge”) on behalf of hourly, non-exempt employees for Hopebridge’s to compensate its employees for overtime wages earned for all overtime work performed in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act (“FLSA”).

Hopebridge is a company that provides healthcare services, including personalized therapy for children and their families affected by behavioral, physical, social, communications, and sensory challenges, as well as outpatient services.

The First Amended Complaint (filed on December 28, 2020) alleges that Hopebridge violated the FLSA in several ways. First, it maintained an unlawful break policy – whereby (in writing) it required RBTs to clock out for all breaks of 15 minutes or more, but in practice it required employees to clock out for breaks regardless of how short (they were not paid for any breaks). In addition, when clocking out for “meal breaks,” RBTs regularly continued to perform work during such time and thus did not enjoy the benefit of a bona fide meal period. Second, RBTs were not performed for pre-shift work they performed off-the-clock prior to the scheduled start of their shifts. Third, RBTs were not paid for all time spent attending pre-shift group meetings. Fourth, RBTs were not paid for time spent working during occupational therapy services sessions. Fifth, registered behavior technicians were not paid for work performed during speech therapy services sessions. Sixth, Hopebridge failed to pay RBTs for all work they performed after the scheduled end of their shifts.

The FLSA does not allow an employer to deduct short breaks of less than 20 minutes from employees’ daily time worked. Hopebridge’s written policy violates the FLSA and its practice of deducting all breaks further violates the FLSA. Moreover, the FLSA requires employees, such as Hopebridge’s RBTs to be paid for all time spent working, including attending pre-shift meetings, performing pre-shift job duties, working through lunches, working during OTS sessions, working during STS sessions, and performing work after the scheduled end of their shifts.

The First Amended Complaint alleges these hourly, non-exempt RBTs have significant unpaid overtime as a result of Hopebridge’s failure to properly and fully compensate the registered behavior technicians for all time spent working as explained above.

This lawsuit provides an example of how an employer can underpay its employees in violation of the FLSA by not fully paying them all overtime wages earned for all overtime work that they perform. This unpaid time often results in unpaid overtime which adds up over the course of an employee’s employment.  The FLSA sets forth the minimum compensation employees must be paid, and non-exempt hourly employees are entitled to receive full and proper compensation under the FLSA, including overtime.

The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages since October 14, 2017, liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid overtime, attorney’s fees, and costs, among other things.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Columbus) and is titled Myres v. Hopebridge, LLC, Case No. 2:20-cv-5390.

Additional information about the registered behavior technician unpaid overtime collective and class action against Hopebridge may be found by contacting our office by calling 614-949-1181 or emailing mcoffman@mcoffmanlegal.com. If you have any questions about whether you are being properly paid all overtime wages earned for all of the compensable hours you work (including overtime), then contact our office today for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation with our Overtime Attorneys regarding any wage and hour issues.

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