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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Clinical employees who sued the University of Missouri Health Care for having missed meal periods docked from their paychecks have reached a $3.6 million settlement agreement.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the Boone County Circuit must still approve the settlement, which would cover 2,601 current and former employees.

The lawsuit, filed by respiratory therapist Richard Hunsley and nurse Donna Reeves, challenged the system’s practice of automatically deducting 30 minutes from employees’ paychecks for meals. The plaintiffs claimed that violated federal labor law and Health Care policies that required employees to be paid if they didn’t get a full 30-minute break.

A spokeswoman said MU Health Care officials believe they followed the law but settled the lawsuit to reduce legal expenses and continued uncertainty caused by the litigation.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune,