Unpaid Meetings Cheat Medical Assistants, Suit Claims
12-12-2018 22:20:00

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Kaiser’s practice of requiring medical assistants to attend work meetings instead of taking their lunch breaks violates labor laws, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court lawsuit.

Celeste King, on behalf of her herself and all others similarly situated, and on behalf of the general public under the Private Attorneys General Act, sued SoCal Permanente Medical Group for violations of the California Labor Code and the California Business & Professions Code. SoCal Permanente is the Southern California division of Kaiser Permanente Medical Group.

King, who has worked for Kaiser as a medical assistant since 1996, says that in 2015, Kaiser began to require her and about 60 other medical assistants to attend twice a month hour-long meetings during their lunch hours. She and the other medical assistants were told to clock out as if taking their lunch, when in fact they were attending mandatory work meetings.

In so doing, King says, Kaiser violated California Labor Code provisions mandating work-free meal and rest breaks. In addition, the medical assistants were not paid overtime for the additional hour of work, their wage statements did not reflect the extra hours of work, and Kaiser did not pay all wages at end of employment, which are also Labor Code violations. 

King says Kaiser’s practice of requiring the unpaid meetings violates the California Business & Professions Code and is “immoral, unethical, oppressive, fraudulent and unscrupulous,” according to the action.

King seeks general and special damages, interest, penalties, restitution of unpaid wages, injunctive relief and legal costs.  She is represented by Gary R. Carlin, Brent S. Buchsbaum, Laurel N. Haag and Ronald L. Zambrano of the Law Offices of Carlin & Buchsbaum in Long Beach, California.