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Scrubs: Not the TV show, the lawsuit

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Two Colorado nurses are suing to be paid for the time they spend getting into their work uniform, similar to the scrubs pictured above
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(CBS/KCNC) AURORA, Colo. - Two nurses at Colorado's Aurora Medical Center say it takes enough time to get in and out of their hospital scrubs that they deserve to get paid for it. They're suing to be able to get dressed "on the clock."

And you thought reforming Medicare was gonna be tough.

Nurses Natalie Fiore and Lisa Stransky have filed a class action lawsuit against HealthOne of Denver, the parent company of Aurora Medical Center, reports CBS affiliate KCNC.

The nurses are required to wear scrubs while on the job, and the garments are not allowed to leave the hospital, KCNC says. They women say the process of getting dressed could add 15 minutes to their shift.

"We have to go into a certain area not by the time clock, to find our size, which is not readily available and then change and then go back to the time clock and punch in," Fiore told the station.

Both nurses said it became a problem when they were written up specifically for attempting to clock in before they changed and for being late to their unit as a result of the scrub change.

Attorney Kyle Bachus, representing the nurses, said 15 minutes doesn't seem like much time, but it adds up quickly over a year.

"That might sound insignificant unless you are the single mom who is showing up to work 15 minutes early and leaving 15 minutes late so you can accomplish these tasks for every shift. You multiply that by nurses, hours and shifts over years and it is a significant amount of time," said Bachus.

"I am a single parent, I have teens and I want to be home as soon as I can. All of this is time consuming," said Fiore.

According to KCNC, HealthOne released this statement regarding the lawsuit: "We have and always will look out for the best interest of our employees and that includes complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act."

The nurse-plaintiffs say they believe more employees of the hospital group will join in the lawsuit once their complaint is heard.

Lawyers, scrub up.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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