Staff Nurses in Oregon Are Suing Providence Medical Group for “Wage Theft”

Wage Theft: Several Oregon-based nurses working for Providence have complained of “wage theft,” in which the company illegally withholds funds from their paychecks.

Staff Nurses in Oregon Are Suing Providence Medical Group for “Wage Theft”

Kevin Mealy, a spokesman for the Oregon Nurses Association, said, “Providence isn’t going to warn you that they’ve paid you less money than they should’ve. That already puts a load on a nurse who’s coming off a 12-plus hour shift in the ER, to go through their paycheck with a fine tooth comb” (ONA).

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Together, ONA and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office have filed a complaint and a class action lawsuit against all 10 Oregon Providence Hospitals, outlining a path forward for resolving the matter.

If Providence followed the grievance procedure, “you would re-establish the former system to run and double-check the current system, give the nurses all the money that was owed along with the other workers that have lost out so it is an easy way to solve it,” Mealy said.

Mealy claims that several nurses have detailed the steps they have taken in the wake of the payroll system transfer in July.

Staff Nurses in Oregon Are Suing Providence Medical Group for "Wage Theft"
Staff Nurses in Oregon Are Suing Providence Medical Group for “Wage Theft”

“We have had nurses who have had to take money out of their retirement to pay rent, we have had nurses who have had to cancel trips, cancel plans to go out. In spite of the fact that you deserve the money, it is not guaranteed to you each week, as Mealy put it.

To address the claims, Providence issued the following statement:

One of Providence’s primary obligations as an employer is to ensure that all employees are paid on time and in accordance with their agreements. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been negatively impacted by recent pay disparities.

Though most problems have been fixed and back compensation given out, Providence ministries are aware that some inaccuracies still persist and are sorry for the trouble they cause for caregivers and their families.

“In September, we introduced a fast pay program to provide missed pay within 24 hours of identifying a payment issue in order to limit financial repercussions and ensure caregivers remain whole.

The Oregon ministries of Providence are looking into the issues brought up in the ONA’s letter to the Multnomah County DA’s office. To be clear, what ONA calls “stealing” and “chronic underpayment” of caregivers is not what we’ve experienced.

Rather, it is the growing pains of establishing a new technological platform to support administrative tasks and services, as well as the complicated pay structures throughout the Providence family of firms.

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Genesis, the new system, will ultimately make it simpler for caregivers to access data and make adjustments from any location and using any device. Until then, we will not rest until we have fixed the problems preventing caregivers from getting paid accurately and on schedule. Our continued appreciation for the hard work of all our caregivers on behalf of the communities and patients we serve is unwavering.

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