Epic Systems, the medical software giant based in Verona, faces another class-action lawsuit over its overtime pay policies, this one filed Friday on behalf of quality assurance workers whom the lawsuit claims were misclassified by Epic as exempt from overtime rules.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, claims that Kate Schultz and other quality assurance workers were illegally denied overtime pay despite performing low-level computer work that required little training or education in computer programming or engineering.
Schultz and other potential members of the class action primarily tested Epic’s software products by simulating user experiences and documenting problems with the software.
Those who perform other computer-related work such as analysts, programmers and software engineers generally are exempt from overtime pay rules, but quality assurance workers who have no technical or software background are not exempt, the lawsuit states.
The proposed class includes current and former Epic quality assurance workers who were not paid overtime despite working more than 40 hours per week between Dec. 2, 2014, and the present, excluding time when they were designated as “team leads.”
The lawsuit states that the precise number of current and former workers who could belong to the class is not known, but Epic has employed more than 1,000 people who could potentially become class members.
In 2014, Epic settled a similar lawsuit involving quality assurance workers, agreeing to a $5.4 million payout.
As that lawsuit was pending, the new lawsuit states, Epic workers were prohibited from bringing wage and hour claims in court against Epic on a collective basis. But that rule, requiring workers to arbitrate wage disputes individually rather than as a group, was found by a federal appeals court in May to violate federal law.
The lawsuit, which alleges violations of state and federal overtime rules, asks for an order making the lawsuit a class action and for unspecified back wages, damages and attorney fees.
Epic is currently defending itself against two other overtime-related lawsuits filed in February 2015 on behalf of technical writers who say they were paid a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours they worked because Epic illegally classified them as being exempt from overtime wages.
An Epic spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Epic is one of the nation’s largest electronic health records systems companies with about 9,500 employees and $2 billion in 2015 revenue. The company was founded in 1979 in Madison by Judith Faulkner, who is still its CEO.