On May 11, 2012, Dolley Law, LLC and the Riggan Law Firm, wage and hour law firms, filed an individual and collective class action lawsuit for unpaid wages and overtime pay against Transcend Services, Inc., a corporation which provides medical transcription services to hospitals and medical providers throughout the United States. The nationwide collective action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. To read a copy of the lawsuit, click here.
The lawsuit—filed on behalf of thirteen named Medical Language Specialists who work from home and are current or former employees of Transcend—alleges that Transcend violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to compensate Medical Language Specialists at a rate equal to the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) and at a rate equal to time-and-a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 per work week. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the individually named Medical Language Specialists and on behalf of all similarly situated Medical Language Specialists who sign a consent to joint lawsuit form.
The lawsuit states that Medical Language Specialists employed by Transcend are compensated per line edited or transcribed, or "hand on keyboard" time. Their compensation per line edited averages approximately 4.5-5 cents per line, while their compensation per line transcribed averages approximately 8.5-9 cents per line edited.
The lawsuit states that Medical Language Specialists are not compensated for many activities which are essential to the accurate transcription and editing of lines. These duties include verifying patient and physician information is entered in the medical report correctly; communicating with Transcend officials and Team Leaders via email and Yahoo Instant Messenger while editing or transcribing medical reports; ensuring the accuracy of physician and patient personal information by using Google and other online sources to verify locations and addresses; ensuring the proper medical term is inserted into the medical record by consulting Google and online sources for spelling and definition information; and communicating with Transcend technical support regarding any problems or defects with the transcription/editing and voice-recognition software.
The lawsuit alleges that the failure to compensate Medical Language Specialists for activities other than "hand on keyboard time" led many of these workers to either not be paid at least $7.25 per hour, or work in excess of 40 hours per work week without being paid time-and-a-half their regular rate of pay.
The lawsuit further alleges that Medical Language Specialists "flexed" their assigned work shifts in the event that there were no medical records to be edited or transcribed in Plaintiffs' electronic queue at any point during their shift. Time "flexing" required Medical Language Specialists to be on call and log in and out of Transcend's transcription/editing software for extended periods of time, frequently until well after their assigned shift ends, to meet the minimum requirement for lines edited or transcribed during a given shift.