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Raimondi v. Central Dupage Hospital

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 30, 2017

ANNA RAIMONDI, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTRAL DUPAGE HOSPITAL as successor to DELNOR HOSPITAL, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MATTHEW F. KENNELLY, District Judge

         Anna Raimondi has sued her former employer, Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), alleging that the hospital failed to compensate her for all of the hours that she worked in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL), the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), and Illinois common law. CDH has moved for summary judgment on all claims. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants summary judgment in favor of CDH on Raimondi's IWPCA and breach of contract claims and on part of her unjust enrichment claim but otherwise denies CDH's motion for summary judgment.

         Background[1]

         Raimondi is a registered nurse who lives in Sugar Grove, Illinois. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing in 2010 and a master's degree in nursing in 2014. In 2005, she began working at Delnor Hospital-which later merged with Central DuPage Hospital-as a full-time staff nurse in the ICU. Raimondi was paid on an hourly basis.

         In 2010, CDH began the process of seeking certification of its stroke program from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (Joint Commission). The Joint Commission requires certified hospitals to employ a stroke navigator who is responsible for ensuring that stroke patients receive high-quality treatment. The navigator is also responsible for ensuring that the hospital is in compliance with the Joint Commission's standards for accreditation. CDH began the process of hiring a navigator and wrote a job description for the position. The description listed the job responsibilities, which included:

• developing and maintaining clinical protocols and care paths;
• monitoring adherence to clinical protocols and reporting outcome data to the hospital's stroke team;
• implementing and coordinating stroke response procedures with the stroke team;
• demonstrating advanced knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of stroke patients; and
• conducting clinical rounds on stroke patients.

         The job description indicated that the applicant must, at a minimum, be an Illinois licensed registered professional nurse. CDH defined the navigator position as ".5 FTE, " meaning that the position was limited to 20 hours of work per week. The hospital also classified the navigator as a salaried position and exempt from wage and hours laws.

         Raimondi applied and was selected for the navigator position. She also continued to work in the ICU. Raimondi would spend 30 hours per week working at the hospital, 20 hours per week working as the navigator, and 10 hours per week working in the IC U.She continued to clock in and out for each position and received the same hourly rate for both the navigator and ICU positions.

         Raimondi had numerous responsibilities as navigator. Her top priority was to review patient charts and enter demographic and other data into a computer system. She would also review patient charts to determine whether treating doctors and nurses were following established protocols. Raimondi was also responsible for "rounding" on patients, which involved meeting with patients to determine whether they were receiving proper care and to answer any questions about treatment.

         Despite the fact that the hospital budgeted 20 hours per week for the navigator position, Raimondi regularly worked 40 hours or more per week performing her responsibilities for that position. Despite this, CDH typically paid Raimondi for only 20 hours of work. In a few instances, Raimondi received additional pay for some of her extra hours, but the amount was insufficient to cover all of the hours she had worked.

         Raimondi notified other CDH employees that she repeatedly worked more than 20 hours per week in the navigator position. She spoke on multiple occasions with Ann Pinkawa, the director of rehabilitation services and Raimondi's supervisor until March 2012. See Def.'s Statement of Material Facts (SOMF), Ex. C (Pinkawa Dep.) at 30:18- 31:6. Pinkawa instructed her to clock in for all hours that she worked-including those in excess of 20 hours per week-in order to keep track of the number of hours actually required for the position. Pl.'s Statement of Undisputed Facts (SUDF), Ex. C (Raimondi Dep.) at 134:13-136:15. Pinkawa then spoke with others at CDH in order to ask the hospital to increase the navigator time allotment by .5 FTE, but the human resources committee denied her request. Pinkawa Dep. at 31:7-14. Raimondi says that Pinkawa made two more identical requests, both of which were denied. Raimondi Dep. at 143:7-22. Afterwards, Pinkawa told Raimondi that she expected Raimondi to perform the job within the .5 FTE limitation and that Raimondi should not clock in for more than 20 hours per week. Id. at 134:2-17. Pinkawa never expressly told Raimondi to work without being punched in. Id. at 311:13-15. But Raimondi continued to work more than 20 hours per week in order to meet her supervisor's demands and complete all of the navigator responsibilities. She did not clock in for the extra hours that she worked, and she was not paid for these hours.

         In the spring of 2011, Delnor Community Health System merged into Central DuPage Health, doing business as Central DuPage Hospital. Raimondi remained on the Delnor payroll system until December 2011 when the two systems merged. At that time, CDH informed Raimondi that she could no longer work in two positions and that she could choose which position to keep. Raimondi chose to stay on as stroke navigator. CDH says that, beginning February 2012, it paid Raimondi a bi-weekly salary of $1, 516.40. Raimondi says that her income varied from week to week.

         After the merger, Pinkawa left CDH, and Jennifer Biede, the neurosciences director, took over the stroke program. Before leaving, Pinkawa told Biede that CDH had denied her request to increase the navigator position to 1.0 FTE, and she asked Biede to look into the issue again. Pl.'s SUDF, Ex. B (Pinkawa Dep. II) at 53:10-20. Raimondi also told Biede on numerous occasions that she was having difficulty accomplishing the navigator responsibilities during the allotted time, see Def.'s SOMF, Ex. A (Biede Dep.) at 23:6-14; Raimondi Dep. at 119:17-120:9, and that she was working more than 20 hours per week, see Raimondi Dep. at 415:15-417:10. In response, Biede looked for other employees who could provide support and instructed Raimondi on how to prioritize her work flow. Biede Dep. at 27:24-28:3. According to Biede, Raimondi's priorities as navigator were to ensure that the hospital was up-to-date with its data entry and to have daily face time with the stroke team. Id. at 28:20-29:1.

         In August 2013, CDH eliminated the stroke navigator program. The hospital terminated Raimondi's employment on September 3, 2013.

         Raimondi filed suit against CDH on September 3, 2015. She alleges in count 1 of her complaint that CDH refused to pay her for hours that she worked beyond the required 20 hours per week in violation of the FLSA and that CDH failed to pay her at an overtime rate for any hours worked over 40 hours per week also in violation of the FLSA. Compl. ¶¶ 42-44. Raimondi further alleges that CDH acted willfully. She also alleges that the same conduct violates the IMWL (count 2) and the IWPCA (count 3). Raimondi alleges in count 4 that, by creating a situation in which she was required to work more than 20 hours per week, CDH breached the employment contract it had with her. Id. ΒΆΒΆ 54-57. ...


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