University of Iowa hospitals settle lawsuit with employees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics employees who say that overtime and other payments were improperly paid will receive $15 million as part of a class-action suit that was filed in 2019, according to documents filed Friday.

The healthcare system and about 11,000 workers have argued that managers didn’t pay overtime, bonuses or accrued leave as quickly as state and federal laws require.

Lawyers for the employees said the settlement figure could have been as high as $64 million. However, they were worried that a higher court could have reduced the amount to as low as $11 million after lawyers for the Iowa Board of Regents threatened to appeal a judge’s ruling for partial summary judgment.

Based on that prospect, attorneys for the class members said in documents they “believe they have obtained a great result” with the settlement.

The six employees who led the lawsuit will each receive $10,000. The other workers will each receive a share of the remaining $11.6 million, based on how many payments employees allegedly received from the hospital later than the law allows. The lawyers will take home $3.4 million.

A spokesperson for the Board of Regents did not immediately comment.