Habush Habush and Rottier

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Class Action Suit Filed Against Epic. Seriously.

A reader of this blog brought this to my attention: Epic hit with class-action lawsuit on overtime wages. It appears as though ex-Epic QAer, Evan Nordgren, was not properly paid time-and-a-half for overtime work during his tenure as an Epic Systems Corporation employee. Habush, Habush, and Rottier are representing the case, and they have a form on their website if you were a QAer in the last 3 years and would like to join the list of plaintiffs.

Wisconsin state law stipulates that all employees are eligible to earn time-and-a-half for overtime, unless they fall under certain exemptions. I remember looking at those exemptions years ago and deciding that Epic TS were sadly exempt from time-and-a-half. Nordgren's lawyer, William Parsons, believes otherwise about QAers.

Epic had this to say in response, according to the numerous (albeit repetitive) articles I found on the subject:
We believe the lawsuit is without merit. We provide good, professional jobs to very talented people, and we value their contribution to improving health care. State and federal law make it clear that employees in computer-related jobs who primarily test software are appropriately classified as salaried professionals. That is precisely the role our quality assurance team performs.
After doing a quick calculation based on Wisconsin law DWD 274.04(15), if you work at Epic and make less than $53,460 yearly, you may be eligible for overtime pay (calculated by $23.67 hourly pay times 2000 hour work-year). As we all know, the 40-hour work week doesn't exist at 1979 Milky Way, so the real hourly wages for QAers are probably much less.

I'm very excited to see how this turns out. I'll post updates here as I learn more.

Update 4/7/14:
A commenter posted this on a separate page, but I thought it belonged here:
Epic recently responded to this internally. All new and current employees have to sign away their rights to litigation over wage and hour questions as a term of new/continued employment. An excerpt:

"I understand and agree that arbitration is the only litigation forum for resolving covered claims, and that both Epic and I are waiving the right to a trial before a judge or jury in federal or state court in favor of arbitration."

Caveat Emptor
 I did a brief search on the benefits of arbitration vs a trial. (Source: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/arbitration-vs-bench-trial-55694/) Arbitration is more expensive than a trial, offers little ability to appeal, but offers more privacy. It's that last quality that I think Epic is more interested in. Everything they do internally is shrouded in secrecy, especially anything negative (like a lawsuit alleging they don't pay their employees fairly). Caveat emptor, indeed.

Update 12/4/14
I'm behind on posting this, but Epic settled the dispute.  Epic unsurprisingly admitted no guilt or wrongdoing, but did set aside $5.4 million for the settlement. With a class of around 1000 members, that boils down to at most $5400 per person. That's a bit over a single month's pay for your average QAer at Epic.


  1. Does anyone have a copy of the full PDF of the employer-employee arbitration agreement that Epic is imposing? (I understand that these comments are moderated, so I could contact the Administrator via a follow-up comment not intended to be published and provide him with my email address so he could send it to me). Many thanks!

  2. Can anyone provide a typical day/week in the life of a QA'er? I have hear there isn't much potential to move up or move to other positions within the company once branded as QA. Also, is it true that you have to log your hours/what you do? Any insider info on this position is much appreciated!

    1. Have not heard anyone in QA moving into different roles, but they claim that that is possible...i have heard however that moving between roles does not allow you to keep the raises you earned over time (e.g. despite being there for 5 yrs, moving from qa to ts means having a salary closer to new ts than 5 yr old ts.) Depending on your efficiency, how close you are to end of phase, and how well you know the material its between a 43 - 50 hour week.

  3. Boom shakalaka: http://host.madison.com/news/local/epic-reaches-million-settlement-with-former-workers-on-overtime-pay/article_f6432ba6-cc14-57f5-9339-294014f21795.html

  4. Wait - you were fired in 2011 and still have a blog about it?

    How incompetent were you? Don't you have anything better to do with your time?

    1. What don't you understand about this website? It allows those who have been unfairly let go (forced firing) from Epic and those who are considering working for this corporation to have a place to ventilate, and also to learn and be warned. This site is a valuable source of information for the open-minded. Life After Epic allows former employees the realization that they are not alone in how unfairly they were treated by this company. Epic cheerleaders are not forced to visit this site. By the way, the blog entries on this site are not that frequent, so the person (or people) writing the articles are obviously doing other things with his/her/their time, contrary to your accusation.