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Former employees of Omnicare, one of the nation’s leading providers of long-term pharmaceutical care for seniors, claim that they have been unlawfully underpaid during their employment with the company.
Their federal lawsuit filed January 26th in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Powe v. Omnicare Inc. et al., Case Number 8:12-cv-00169) seeks relief under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for hundreds of triage specialists, pharmacy technicians and other nonexempt employees nationwide who claim that they were required to work off-the-clock during meal breaks or after an employee’s shift had ended.
A publicly-traded Fortune 400 company, Omnicare serves 1.4 million residents of skilled nursing, assisted living and other health care providers. Many of Omnicare’s workers, including Ms. Latonya Powe and the members of the class/collective action, claim that they were required to clock out during their meal break, or at the end of their shifts, though they continued to work.
According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, employment law veteran, Gregg Shavitz of the Shavitz Law Group, “This unlawful policy or practice is central to Ms. Powe’s lawsuit,” and she and other employees claim it was “uniform, pervasive and company-wide.”
Omnicare employs more than 15,000 workers in 47 states. The lawsuit seeks relief for all members of the asserted class at each of Omnicare’s locations throughout the U.S.
“Cases like Ms. Powe’s are not uncommon,” according to Shavitz. “All too often, employers require employees to clock out and continue to work, either during their meal breaks or after their scheduled shift. Employers then pay workers in accordance with what the timekeeping records reflect – even though the time records do not accurately reflect all of the hours worked.”
“Employees should not be discouraged from asserting their rights in such cases,” says Shavitz. First, the employee’s “word,” as well as that of other employees, will substantiate that the time records do not reflect the off-the-clock work performed during meal breaks or after the shift.
Second, there often is additional evidence to corroborate that employees were performing off-the-clock work during their meal breaks, including computer records, telephone records, POS records, and even cameras or alarm records. Finally, to the extent the employee prevails in proving such unpaid wages, an employer will be legally required to pay the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the employee’s counsel.
This ensures that the back-pay award to the employee is not reduced due to the cost of taking legal action. As the Supreme Court has confirmed, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was designed to ensure that workers receive a “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” The lawyers at the Shavitz Law Group work to enforce this right by prosecuting off-the-clock and other overtime violations.