Plaintiff Lynnette Hudson, both individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed suit last Thursday in the District of Arizona against Hallmark Behavioral Health @ Lago, LLC. The class and collective action complaint for damages and declaratory relief accuses Hallmark of enforcing an illegal straight time for overtime policy.
Beginning in October 2021, the plaintiff was employed by the defendant as an hourly worker. As an hourly worker, Hudson received an hourly rate as opposed to a fee basis or salary rate. Her hourly rate was $15 per hour. The defendant kept records of the hours worked by Hudson and paid her “the same hourly rate for all hours worked, including those in excess of 40 in a week.”
The complaint asserts that it was typical for Hudson to work over 40 hours a week, yet she was always compensated at the same rate of $15 an hour. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, employers are required to pay employees time-and-a-half when they work in excess of 40 hours in one week. Hudson was only compensated with “straight-time.” This policy, Hudson believes, constitutes a “willful violation of the FLSA.”
On top of paying Hudson straight time rather than overtime, she contends that the defendant did not inform her of her rights under the Arizona Sick Leave Law leaving her with “no way to exercise her rights” when they later did not provide her with the amount of paid sick time she earned.
The defendant allegedly has an illegal policy known as “straight time for overtime,” meaning that the violations extend beyond Hudson and to a class of employees. The complaint cites violations of the FLSA, violations of the Arizona Wage Act, failure to provide notice of Arizona Sick Leave Law (ASLL), failure to provide statement under ASLL, interference with rights under ASLL, declaratory judgement under ASLL, and unjust enrichment. Hudson is seeking class certification, favorable judgement of violations, unpaid wages, treble, penalty, exemplary, and punitive damages, declaratory judgement imposing special monitoring and inspections on the defendant, litigation fees, and more.
The plaintiff is represented in the litigation by Parmet Law.