A class-action lawsuit filed last year against Sansum Clinic, which alleged supervisors falsified hourly employees’ time cards to dock overtime pay, settled for nearly $2 million. From 2006 to November 25, 2015, the suit alleged, supervisors willfully and consistently changed the time cards of hourly employees so that a meal period was taken within the first five hours and so that overtime hours were removed.
Filed on behalf of Diane Pizzi, who worked as a clerk in Sansum’s endocrinology department, the class-action suit represents 1,500 employees (500 of whom no longer work there), who will each receive an $800 payment out of a $1.25 million fund set up by the settlement.
California labor laws stipulate work in excess of eight hours in one workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek is subject to time and a half, which, the lawsuit contends, occurred regularly for nearly a decade. That translated to an alleged total in unpaid wages of $3 million.
After reviewing a million electronic payroll records over nine months provided by Santa Barbara’s predominate health-care provider, Bruce Anticouni, the plaintiffs’ labor attorney, argued in court files his investigation demonstrated “some mid-level Sansum managers and supervisors changed the time records.”
When asked about the settlement, Jill Fonte, Sansum’s spokesperson, said in an email, “Taking into account the claims, the cost of defense and the disruption to our operations, we think it is a fair and reasonable settlement for our employees and Sansum Clinic.”
Anticouni, who declined to comment, wrote in court filings that Sansum and its attorney “verified the changes made to employees’ time records.” Anticouni, who has filed more than 75 labor class-action lawsuits, will receive a third of the total settlement, about $660,000, plus $20,000 in attorneys fees, the lawsuit states. A final settlement hearing is scheduled for later this month.