Update - March 31
Reminder, April 13, 2015 is the last day for class members to opt out, object or return claim forms.
You can view the settlement information, highlights, procedures, deadlines and additional instructions below.
In May 2013, ONA filed a grievance against Providence St. Vincent Medical Center on behalf of all St. Vincent nurses after nurses came forward with reports that their timecards were improperly altered after submission by their managers.
This was primarily in cases in which they had clocked out or in on Kronos in amounts greater than seven minutes, to prevent the quarter hour rounding. As more staff learned how to check their time cards and identify the errors, the grievance continued to expand.
Providence initially agreed to an audit of all the units and repayment of all money owed, and we mutually agreed the grievance would be on hold while this audit was underway. Also during this time, two individual nurses who had left employment at St. Vincent, and would not be included in the grievance or repayments, initiated a class action lawsuit (Thanane v. Providence Health & Services) over this issue.
The audit then appeared to have slowed, with little information about the status provided to ONA. The Association later learned that it had been stopped entirely by the Medical Center after the class action lawsuit was filed. Providence announced that it believed that the grievance and class action were so similar that any resolution must be global. The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit and the Association agreed to formal mediation with Providence, which began in May 2014 with a federal judge.
In November, 2014, Providence and the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit reached a proposed settlement. That settlement was preliminarily approved by the court Dec.19.
Official notice will be mailed to all persons included in the class action and/or grievance by a claims administrator by March 13, 2015. That notice will include information about the process as well as the amount you would be paid.
Settlement Agreement Highlights
Nurses must opt in to the settlement agreement to receive the full settlement amount.
- ONA encourages nurses to participate fully in the settlement agreement.
- Official notices and all communication regarding the details of individual settlements will come from a third party administrator.
- All persons employed by Providence in Oregon from 9/13/07-9/13/13 (including non-nurses), are eligible to participate in the settlement agreement.
- The settlement is statewide, affecting former and current Providence employees across the State of Oregon.
- There will be random spot audits for the next two years.
- Providence will train all current and newly hired managers, directors, supervisors and CNOs on wage and hour laws within six months of the agreement being finalized.
- The amount awarded will be the highest of either all unpaid wages since Nov. 1, 2009 or a set dollar amount that is based full, part-time, or on-call status and whether the employee is still employed by Providence. These amounts are set out in the settlement agreement.
Procedure and Next Steps
The following timeline outlines the procedures in place and the deadlines throughout the process. Please be sure to check out the dates to ensure you take the steps necessary for the settlement.
- Feb.17, 2015: Providence provided a list of class members’ names, addresses and individual settlement to the class action plaintiffs and ONA. Providence sent a list of all eligible persons claims to a third party administrator that has been retained to track the claims and disburse funds on March 3.
- March 13, 2015: The party administrator will send notices to all eligible persons, and communicate all the details of the individual’s settlement. Keep an eye out in your mail for it.
- April 13, 2015: Last day for class members to opt out, object or return claim forms.
- May 2015: Materials filed with court, and reports of opt outs, objections or unfound persons.
- June 12, 2015: Final approval hearing of proposed settlement agreement to be held
- July 12, 2015: Effective date of final approval of proposed settlement agreement - if approved by court at June 12 hearing.
- Forty Days from Effective Date: (Estimated late August 2015): Payments issued by mail.
- For Two Years after the settlement is implemented, random spot audits will be performed.
If you have already received the notice and opt-in form mailed by claims administrator on March 13 and you have questions, please be sure to read through all the documents you received and reference the full settlement and highlights in the documents below.
If you HAVE NOT received the notice and opt-in form mailed on March 13 (either because of a recent address change or you are concerned it was lost in the mail) and you think you should be part of the class action settlement, you should do the following:
- Contact the claims administrator directly at:
Tilghman & Co. P.C.
Thanane Settlement Administration
P.O. Box 12723
Birmingham, AL 35202-2723
- AND contact the the law firm representing the plaintiffs, Bennett Hartman, Morris and Kaplan, to submit the new mailing address and to obtain an opt-in claim form. To do this, please email Leah Bazzani at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you lost your Formal Notice and Opt-in Form, or misplaced it, you can download and print a copy here.
You can read the full settlement agreement below and you can find out more information not included in the settlement agreement in the newsletter below.
Background Information on Grievance
An association grievance was filed for all staff nurses at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center on May 30, 2013 after nurses reported their Kronos time records were changed by manager(s) without their authorization. This practice is both illegal in violation of your contract. The grievance demands that the Medical Center audit all nurses’ Kronos and payroll records for the past six years and pay all staff for the money they are due.
In light of the expanding list of units where employees identified manager overrides of their Kronos time records, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (Medical Center) announced that it would audit all nursing units at the Medical Center from November 2007-present for timecard edits/manager overrides. Kronos was put in place in 2007, so this would have captured all edits from the time this system began. This was a change, because previously, the Medical Center had agreed only to audit for three years, and only in the individual nursing units in which we located overrides.
We were told that additional resources were being added to complete the audit and the Medical Center’s goal was to have this completed within 30-45 days. However, that deadline passed in September. Then in October we were informed that we must now contact Providence’s outside legal counsel to obtain information about our grievance due to the class action lawsuit that was filed (to which ONA is not a party).
After delays and a lack of responsiveness from the Medical Center, we scheduled a Step one grievance meeting. On December 19, three of your local leaders and ONA Staff Representative attended a Step 1 meeting with the Nurse Manager of 6E and a Human Resources staff person. In that meeting, we were told that the audit has been "paused” and no progress or work has been undertaken for months. They blamed the class action for this change. Human Resources Staff could not answer our questions about when it was "paused” or how much of the promised audit was completed before it was stopped. Many of our questions remained unanswered either due to lack of knowledge, transparency, or advice of one of Providence’s many attorneys.
Given the lack of transparency and adherence to our prior agreement, we reviewed the situation and determined we must follow through the more formal grievance process. We expanded our request for information so that the Association can conduct its own audit and determine the amount due the St. Vincent nurses. In response, Providence approached the Association and requested that it agree to mediate this matter, along with the separate class action lawsuit to try and reach a global resolution. That mediation was originally scheduled in March, but was moved to April 14 and 15.We met for two days but did not reach an agreement. We met again May 8 and are still exchanging proposals to try and resolve this grievance. If you would like additional information in the interim, please contact Glenda Peters(bargaining unit president), Philip D'Onofrio, John Smeltzer (secretary) or call the ONA offices at (503)293-0011.
We continue to hear reports of payroll errors. Nurses have reported being moved down an entire step arbitrarily, not being paid night shift differential, and others have not received resource differential. Please take a moment and review your time records for your differentials, pay rate, and for unauthorized changes by mangers. To learn how to check for manager changes, read the July 3 newsletter below.