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MU Health Care timekeeping settlement worth $3.6 million

Clinical employees at MU Health Care may get a piece of a $3.6 million settlement over the hospital’s timekeeping system, according to proposed terms obtained by ABC 17 News.

The settlement terms must still be approved by the Boone County court. ABC 17 News reported on Monday that a proposed settlement had been reached in the lawsuit.

The proposal would allow clinical employees of MU Health Care to file a claim for payment related to the hospital’s use of automatic time deductions through its Kronos timekeeping system. Richard Hunsley, a former clinical employee, and Donna Reeves, a current employee, filed the suit in 2016 over the automatic deductions.

Brendan Donelon, attorney for Hunsley and Reeves, told ABC 17 News earlier this month that 2,601 employees may be affected.

Employees at MU Health are given a 30 minute break, barring patient needs, according to the lawsuit. Kronos would take 30 minutes out of their work shift, even if the employee worked through the break, the lawsuit claimed. MU Health put an end to the practice after employees complained about it, and offered Reeves and Hunsley three weeks of back pay. The lawsuit sought several years worth of back pay.

Hunsley and Reeves would each receive $5,000 in the settlement. Their attorneys would be able to apply for one-third of the settlement total for their work. After those fees are paid off, clinical employees would be able to file a claim for a piece of the settlement.

MU Health Care spokeswoman Jennifer Coffman said the settlement avoids the issue going through an even longer legal battle.

“While MU Health Care believes that is has acted in accordance with law regarding its payroll practices, the settlement prevents further legal expenses and ends any uncertainty created by the pending litigation,” Coffman said. “The parties will be presenting the settlement to the court for preliminary approval, after which class members will be provided with a notice containing additional information.”

Donelon told ABC 17 News on Tuesday that the matter was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. He hopes to have preliminary plans on distributing the settlement ready for the judge’s approval by the end of the month.

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