Justices overturn $2.9M award to Yakima nurses for unpaid OT

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SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court has narrowly overturned a decision awarding $2.9 million to a group of nurses at Yakima Regional who were pressured to work unpaid overtime and miss meal breaks.

In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the court said it didn’t condone the hospital’s behavior, but the Washington State Nurses Association did not have standing to sue on the nurses’ behalf. Instead, the majority suggested the case could have been brought as a class action by the nurses themselves.

The nurses association sued in 2015 on behalf of 28 nurses in Yakima Regional’s home health and hospice programs. The nurses said they were routinely denied overtime when they had to work more than eight hours per day, such as when a patient nearing death required additional attention or when they had to finish paperwork or coordinate further care after a long shift.