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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mental Health Employees Sue Over Crazy Work Schedule

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

click to enlarge Stop the madness!
  • Stop the madness!

City employees who care for the severely mentally ill have sued over a severely unstable work schedule that's driving them craaaaaaaazy. They are scheduled to work four days one week, then six days the next, then four, then six .....

This routine was devised by a madhouse, known formally as the Department of Public Health's Behavioral Health Center, which apparently didn't pay overtime for the longer weeks. This oversight might have seemed sensible to managers. After all, workers performed 80 hours of labor every two weeks, averaging 40 hours per week.

But attorneys for nurses, psychiatric technicians, and mental health rehabilitation workers apparently thought that logic was bad for their clients' own mental health -- and sued.

The workers are "paid at their regular rate of pay for all of their regularly scheduled hours of work, even though they are regularly scheduled to work 48 hours in every second week," said the complaint, filed Aug. 9 in U.S. federal district court in San Francisco. Workers are demanding back wages, plus attorneys' fees at a rate of $500 per hour.

We contacted City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey about this madness. He said he'd check with his department's labor team, but didn't think they'd be able to comment.

We left a message with attorney Duane Reno, who represents the workers, and will add his input when we hear back. I only wish he'd call back right now, because the wait is driving me craaaaaaazy!

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Matt Smith


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