Delta County Memorial Hospital

Delta County Memorial Hospital

Delta County Memorial Hospital District is exempt from Colorado wage-law complaints brought forth in a nurse’s labor suit filed last year, a court filing says, and the district intends to seek dismissal.

Plaintiffs’ counsel has proposed a stipulation to dismiss the state-law claims, which the hospital district is reviewing.

Nurse Krystal Gray, since joined by Melissa Bland, Gail Houseweart and James Stunden in a collective action, alleged hospital employees were made to work during breaks for which they had clocked out that that hourly employees were not properly paid for work done off the clock.

Gray in her October complaint further alleged she was “actively discouraged” from claiming time worked outside of her regular hours, and that the hospital district failed to pay her what she was owed when her employment ended.

The suit, which makes claims based on state and federal law, also alleges the hospital’s meals policy cheated employees, because they were routinely called to work during unpaid breaks.

On Dec. 13, the parties conferred over the hospital district’s intention to file a motion for dismissal concerning state-law claims.

The claims made under the Colorado Minimum Wage Act and Colorado Minimum Wage Order are the subject of the hospital district’s anticipated dismissal motion, a Dec. 27 letter to the U.S. District Court says.

These state regulations do not apply to governmental entities such as the hospital district, the letter states, citing case law and statute. The wage-law and order do not cover state and government-operated hospitals.

“DCHM is a special district organized and existing under Colorado laws. (The law) establishes special districts to provide certain services for the people of Colorado. … DCMH is a health service district under Colorado law and has filed with the Colorado state government as such,” the document states.

Accordingly, the plaintiffs have not stated a claim for which relief can be granted, with respect to the state-law claims, DCMH attorney Michael Santo wrote. The district therefore wants the opportunity to file for dismissal of the state claims, unless the parties can reach an agreement.

In addition to the state claims, the Gray suit has also alleged violations of federal regulations, including failure to pay overtime compensation for improper automatic time deductions, and failure to pay overtime for off-the-clock work.

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