A federal judge has conditionally certified a class of potentially 85,000 current and former employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit challenging UPMC’s meal break policy. Conditional certification means that plaintiffs will be able to notify all current and former non-exempt employees from the past three years that they can opt into the litigation. The suit alleges UPMC denied employees proper overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act by automatically deducting 30 minute meal breaks from their pay once their shift reached five hours. The case is Camesi et al. v. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, et al., docket number 09-85 in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Law 360 reported that similar motions for conditional certification are pending against West Penn Allegheny Health System and Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, both of which are also accused of violating the FLSA with similar meal-break policies.