Legal, Consumer / Employer

Steadfast Medical Staffing ordered to compensate aides, nurses over $7.2M in back wages and damages

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia-Norfolk Division ruled that Steadfast Medical Staffing knowingly and illegally classified workers as independent contractors instead of employees to avoid paying them overtime and the agency must now pay back wages and damages.

Last week, a Virginian federal court ruled that Medical Staffing of America must pay 1,105 nurses and aids at least $3.62 million in damages and another $3.62 million back wages for unlawfully holding back what was owed to them.

The financial penalties were the result of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia-Norfolk Division ruling that Steadfast Medical Staffing knowingly and illegally classified workers as independent contractors instead of employees, thereby failing to pay the workers overtime.

Steadfast Medical Staffing is an employment agency that sources independent medical personnel for healthcare facilities across the United States.

The Department of Labor originally filed a lawsuit back in 2018 about back wage Steadfast Medical Staffing owed workers. The complaint noted that Steadfast Medical Staffing not only labeled workers as independent contractors rather than employees, but that the staffing agency did so knowingly. Independent contractors are not subject to overtime pay compensation, which states employees working more than 40 hours a week should be paid time and a half for extra hours. As a result, those workers – nurses and aids – did not receive overtime pay they were owed.

However, Steadfast Medical Staffing did not pay back wages owed after the 2018 complaint. Another complaint was filed in 2019. The investigation found that Steadfast Medical Staffing incorrectly classified workers as independent contractors to the agency’s benefit since as early as August 18, 2015.

Last week’s decision by the court ends the 2018 litigation filed due to Steadfast Medical Staffing ignoring the missed wages and declining to pay back wages owed. In sum, the agency will owe more than $7.2 million in back wages and damages to licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and nursing aids. The court ruling determined that the agency intentionally violated federal overtime laws for these 1,105 employees.

“The court sent an unequivocal message to Steadfast and other healthcare industry employers that the Solicitor of Labor and the Wage and Hour Division will work together to recover stolen wages when employers violate the law,” said Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda in a news release. “The U.S. Department of Labor will not hesitate to bring legal action, pursuing all available remedies, when it finds that an employer has willfully violated the law.”

Steadfast did not respond to request for comment.

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