Epic Hit With Class-Action Suit Over Worker Pay

Posted on December 12, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

A former employee has filed a class action suit against Epic Systems, arguing that the EMR vendor has been violating labor laws by denying some of its workers overtime pay.

The suit, which was filed by a former QA employee Evan Nordgren, contends that he and as many as 1,000 former and present QA workers should have been paid time-and-half for overtime hours. (Nordgren is now enrolled in the University of Wisconsin’s law school.) The suit concerns hours worked over a three-year period taking place prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

Epic, of course, disagrees with the suit’s assessment. It argues that state and federal law “make it clear that employees in computer-related jobs who primarily test software are appropriately classified as salaried professionals,” making them exempt from overtime pay.

Epic certainly has enough money to pay its employees whatever they’re due. The company had revenues of $1.5 billion in 2012, according to Forbes. Judy Faulkner, who founded Epic in 1979, has a net worth of about $2.3 billion and was ranked number 243 on Forbes 2013 list of the richest 400 Americans, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

On other hand, if Epic is forced to cough up overtime pay to past and present QA employees, it seems likely — to me at least — that other suits of this type will follow, something no company wants to take on.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see on this one.