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Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 1:41 pm | Fair with Haze 66º

 
 
 
 
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Former Sansum Clinic Employee Files Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Overtime Wages

An hourly employee alleges Santa Barbara clinic manager falsified records to not pay overtime, give lunch breaks

A former employee of the Sansum Clinic at 215 Pesetas Lane in Santa Barbara has filed a class action lawsuit against the healthcare provider, alleging unfair business practices such as not paying overtime and falsifying records.
A former employee of the Sansum Clinic at 215 Pesetas Lane in Santa Barbara has filed a class action lawsuit against the healthcare provider, alleging unfair business practices such as not paying overtime and falsifying records.                    (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

A former employee of a Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara has filed a class action lawsuit alleging the healthcare provider falsified payroll records to avoid paying overtime wages and letting employees take breaks for meals, among other unfair business practices.

The lawsuit was filed last week in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on behalf of Diane Pizzi, a county resident who worked as a medical service coordinator at the 215 Pesetas Lane location from 2006 until last Tuesday, according to the complaint filed by Santa Barbara-based employment law firm Anticouni & Associates.

Pizzi was an hourly employee. She claims Sansum managers manually altered employee timecards to reflect a 30-minute meal period was taken within the first five hours of an employee’s shift and to not show overtime worked.

The class action suit could involve more than 500 former and present Sansum employees over a four-year period, and damages were estimated at more than $4 million, according to Anticouni & Associates.

As one of Santa Barbara County’s major providers of primary and specialty medical care, Sansum Clinic has several urgent care and specialty clinics throughout the county.

Jill Fonte, its director of marketing, said Sansum hadn’t yet received a copy of the complaint.

“I have no more information but I can assure you that we do take paying overtime and appropriate wages very seriously,” Fonte said.

“Sansum Clinic is a world class medical facility with excellent doctors,” Bruce Anticouni, the law firm’s founder, said in a statement.

“Sansum continuously informs its managers and supervisors to restrict employees from working overtime and from taking late lunch periods. Unfortunately, some Sansum managers choose to falsify time records to do so.”

A class action lawsuit filed against Sansum Clinic alleges managers altered payroll records to avoid paying overtime, according to the complaint filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Click to view larger
A class action lawsuit filed against Sansum Clinic alleges managers altered payroll records to avoid paying overtime, according to the complaint filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

The lawsuit alleges several violations of the California Labor Code, including requiring employees to work off the clock after they’re over 40 hours per week and during required lunch breaks.

California employees are entitled to one hour of compensation for every missed lunch break during the first five hours of work.

According to the complaint, “when overtime was worked, employees were required to log off of the computer so as to not reflect overtime hours and continue to work without compensation.”

Anticouni & Associates has won more than $150 million for California employees in similar wage and hour class action litigations, currently litigating wage and hour class actions— two of which the firm said were recently settled — against Vons, Subway, Planetechs, Zodiac Seat Shells, Kindred Care and 7-Eleven.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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