SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A lawsuit alleging a Santa Fe hospital denied employees unpaid lunch breaks may gain hundreds of more plaintiffs.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/1m7mImk) a judge granted class-action status Thursday to the lawsuit brought against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.
The ruling means an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 previous and current employees who worked between 2008 and the present can join in the litigation.
Seven plaintiffs originally filed the suit in 2010.
Shane Youtz, an Albuquerque-based attorney representing them, says his clients often worked through scheduled 30-minute breaks because of understaffing but weren’t paid for that time.
Arturo Delgado, a hospital spokesman, says the judge found the hospital’s lunch policy was lawful.
Youtz says the hospital made it impractical for employees to take their breaks.