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Cerner settles overtime lawsuit

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
A settlement appears to have been reached in a multi-year lawsuit against Cerner concerning overtime and the way in which some employees were classified.

The EHR giant, according to KCUR, has stated in a filing that it “adamantly denies” the plaintiff's complaints in the three-year-long suit, but sought to settle the matter to minimize “negative” publicity and legal costs.

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“Accordingly, Cerner determined that settlement was in its best interest, provided that plaintiff agreed not to prevent Cerner from taking certain steps to try and ensure that the terms of the settlement are not part of the public record,” Cerner wrote in its motion, according to KCUR.

The newly settled case was filed in 2015 and brought by Cerner employee Laura Scott.

Cerner has settled overtime-related lawsuits before, including one filed in 2016 that was settled in under a year – in another sealed agreement, according to the Kansas City Star.

One of the issues in the cases is the basic matter of what jobs get paid or unpaid overtime.

Scott claimed the company had classified entry-level positions as ones requiring a computer-programmer level of background, according to KCUR. Entry-level workers are typically entitled to overtime that more senior staff, such as programmers, do not get.

In May, Cerner confronted negative reports on its massive DoD contract.

Burke told shareholders last week that the DoD work may have been slammed with the help of a “competitor,” according to the Kansas City Star newspaper.

"If you had an ax to grind with us and wanted to perhaps keep us from getting to a Veterans [Administration] contract, and you’re one of our competitors, you might want to use some information negatively. There was some negative information out there," he said during a a recent shareholders meeting soon after the new no-bid, 10-year, $10 billion deal with the VA for its system had been signed.

"I have learned the term fake news, a little bit," he added.

The VA deal, heavily favored by Jared Kushner, came about because Veterans Affairs wanted its EHR system to be compatible with the Cerner one used at DoD.

The DoD deal came after an open-bidding process.

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