A certified nursing assistant, Carole Guerra, commenced a FLSA collective action alleging that HCR Manor Care, Inc., a nursing home in Philadelphia, failed to pay employees for time spent on maintaining uniforms outside of their regular work hours. Guerra seeks to represent nursing department employees who have worked at any of the company’s 291 facilities dispersed throughout 27 states and have spent off-the-clock time complying with the dress code policy without compensation.

The company’s mandatory dress code policy required employees to purchase scrubs from one particular vendor and arrive to work in a clean, wrinkle-free uniform.

The facility lacked washers, dryers and other on-site equipment, which resulted in nurses spending off-the-clock time maintaining their uniforms. Guerra alleges that the company could send employees home without pay to change into a uniform that conformed with the dress code policy or even institute progressive disciplinary measures, including termination.

As such, Guerra states that she and many other nursing assistants spent two to three hours off-the-clock per week ensuring their uniforms met the company’s requirements, without pay.  Guerra accuses the company of knowing that its uniform policies resulted in a significant investment of time by its employees and failed to compensate employees for that overtime.

Guerra names HRC Manor Care’s human resources subsidiary, Heartland Employment Services LLC, as the defendant. This firm will continue to monitor the developments in this case.