MBG attorneys Betty Eberle and Ryan Miller, on behalf of an opt-in class of 221 nurses, reached an $11.2 million FLSA settlement with defendants Humana Insurance Company and Humana Inc. The multi-state case, brought in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, alleged that Humana misclassified utilization management nurses as “exempt” and failed to pay them for the overtime hours they routinely worked.
The settlement resolves four years of hotly-contested litigation, including an unsuccessful attempt to decertify the class. The parties also disputed the proper formula for calculating overtime pay: the standard formula (paying overtime hours at a rate equal to 1.5 times the nurse’s weekly salary divided by 40) versus a so-called “fluctuating-work-week” formula (paying overtime hours at a much lower rate equal to 0.5 times the nurse’s weekly salary divided by the actual number of hours worked each week). Application of the “fluctuating-work-week” formula would have reduced plaintiffs’ potential damages by more than 70%.
The settlement, approved by Judge Griesbach on September 27, 2021, provides an exceptional and significant recovery for the nurses, with class members receiving, on average, more than $36,000 each. O’Leary v. Humana Insurance Co., Case No. 1:17-cv-01774-WCG (E.D. Wis.)