North Dakota nurse staffing agency settles wage lawsuit

MANDAN, (AP) — A North Dakota nurse staffing agency has settled a federal lawsuit over wage disputes with more than 100 nurses.

Employees of Mandan-based Dakota Travel Nurse have started receiving cash payments after settling the lawsuit, The Bismarck Tribune reported . The settlement is sealed so details of the amount of compensation aren’t publicly available.

The nurses alleged they weren’t properly compensated for overtime under state law and were overcharged for company-provided lodging.

“As a local company, I think there needs to be exposure of (Dakota Travel Nurse’s) unfair business practices,” said Boe Kuch, who worked as a registered nurse for the company for 18 months.

The company helps staff 90 health care facilities in North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota. Company Owner Jamie Fleck’s lawyer declined to comment to the newspaper.

Kuch said he joined the lawsuit about a year ago after being notified by the law firm filing the suit on behalf of former employees, Jamie Diaz and others.

Diaz alleged that she didn’t receive the full time-and-a-half payment required under state law for overtime she put in from October 2014 through July 2015. Diaz said she was paid $20 an hour as a certified nursing assistant and only $25 an hour for overtime.

Diaz also said she was charged a fee for company housing even after moving out of the accommodations.

Kuch said Dakota Travel Nurse changed its overtime practices in April, before the settlement was reached.