White v. Baptist Mem'l Health Care Corp., No. 11-5717 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
White was an emergency department nurse for Baptist 2005-2007. She did not have a regularly scheduled meal break; breaks occurred as work allowed. White received a copy of Baptist’s employee handbook, which stated that an unpaid meal break would be automatically deducted from their pay checks and that if a meal break was missed or interrupted because of work, the employee would be compensated. Employees were to record time spent working during meal breaks in an “exception log.” White signed a document concerning the policy and recorded occasions where her meal break was interrupted. She claims that if her entire unit missed a break, she was compensated, but that if she individually missed breaks she was sometimes not compensated. She never told her supervisors or human resources that she was not. Eventually, White stopped using the exception log. White knew Baptist’s procedure to report and correct payroll errors, but did not utilize this procedure to correct the unreported interrupted meal break errors because she felt it would be “an uphill battle.” White filed suit, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201. The district court granted Baptist summary judgment and class decertification. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.