Syracuse, N.Y. - Three Central New York hospitals are prepared to pay $1.5 million each to settle lawsuits accusing them of not paying hourly employees for lunch breaks that were missed or interrupted. Employees and former employees of St. Joseph's and Crouse hospitals in Syracuse and Faxton-St. Luke's in Utica recently received notices of proposed settlements that have received preliminary approval in federal court. They have until Sept. 13 to join the lawsuits and seek payments. A Rochester law firm filed the class action lawsuits against the hospitals in 2008. The suits allege the hospitals failed to keep accurate records of time worked by nurses and other hourly employees dating back to Nov. 13, 2002.