Sutter Health New Grad program unpaid.

  1. 0
    Hey everyone, so I'm being offered a job through Sutter Health affiliate hospital and I've been told that they've changed the New Grad programs to being 3 months of unpaid training. I will be treated as an employee while I work, but just not get paid. I won't be contracted with the hospital at this time, and if I decided I wanted to leave, I can. But if I stay throught the whole training, I will be offered a full time position. I was told that this was the way Sutter decided to do things to save themselves money from training New Grads and then them leaving after they get their year experience.

    Has any of you heard of this before? And what are your thoughts? I am grateful for having this job offer, just somewhat shocked at the no pay thing.
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  3. 62 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    You may want to look into California Labor laws and see if this is illegal. Even if it is legal, they shouldn't be allowed to get away with that. As difficult as it is to get a job these days, I would decline their offer. Imagine what else they would do to save money. Sounds unsafe to me.

    Ok, so I have googled unpaid training.. and every site that I've looked at says that this is illegal. I would do some research with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the CA Labor site to get conclusive information.
    Last edit by starzburst on Jun 15, '09
    bloodlikefire, lindarn, and NurseKitten like this.
  5. 0
    I found this information here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DLSEManua...enfcmanual.pdf with the help of this: http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?p=945944


    46.6.5 Training Programs, Lectures, Meetings. The Division utilizes the standards
    announced by the U.S. Department of Labor contained at 29 CFR §§ 785.27 through
    785.31 in regard to lectures, meetings and training programs:

    Time spent by employees attending training programs, lectures and meetings are not
    counted as hours worked if the attendance is voluntary on the part of the employee
    and all the following criteria are met:

    1. Attendance is outside regular working hours;
    2. Attendance is voluntary: attendance is not voluntary if the employee is led to
    believe that present working conditions or the continuation of employment
    would be adversely affected by nonattendance;
    3. The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee’s job:
    training is directly related to an employee’s job if it is designed to make the
    employee handle his job more effectively as distinguished from training him for
    another job or to a new or additional skill; and
    4. The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.
  6. 2
    Here is the key to your issue.... #4 The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

    There is no way you could have a new grad program where you don't do any productive work. Also the part that says,"the continuation of employment would be adversely affected by nonattendance".... yours is...no attend, no job.

    The way their legal dept is probably trying to get around it is by saying you are not an official employee, so this law doesn't apply.

    Look, nurses don't get paid what they are worth anyway... why sell ourselves even shorter!?!?!?

    I was laid off of my IT job ($37/hr). I was contacted by a recruiter trying to place IT people on contract and he said "with this economy, I can get anyone with your skill set for $20 - 25/hr!" I told him good luck! I did NOT accept and wouldn't as it would provide a precedent. I was ultimately hired back by my prior company at the same rate as before.

    I would tell them, thanks but no thanks. If they can't get ANY new grads for free, they will have to rethink that plan. How many doctors do you think would do their work for free until their internship is over? NONE.
    elprup and NurseKitten like this.
  7. 4
    Since you wouldn't be getting paid anyway, you can afford to find an employer who is going to pay you what you are worth. I also would advise to turn this down. Have read where unpaid training is common in the Philippines due to lack of nursing employment. Slave labor is slave labor whether it is in the Philippines or here. I think somebody in the hierarchy got a bright idea from our friends across the ocean. Thanks for posting this so that others can see what kind of employer Sutter is.
    elprup, Angel@MyTable, NurseKitten, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the input... And Starzburst, thanks for looking that up for me.

    I will be meeting with the two Nurse Managers for whom I would potentially work for to ask questions and get all the information about the way they're doing this. I'm actually the first one in this particular Sutter Hospital to be trained in this manner, so they're pretty new to this as well.

    What questions should I ask? I mean, how can I ask them "nicely" about whether or not this is legal?... For those saying that I shouldn't take it, I graduated last December, and this is the only job I've been offered. And IN the specialized department that I want. If I turn this job down, I may not get the opportunity to start in this department and it still may very well take 3 months or even longer to find another job. I can technically continue looking for another job since I'm not contracted to stay with them throughout the training, so maybe I will. But I'm pretty much desperate right now for a paycheck. Even if it is 3 months out.... Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd finally get a nursing job, only to work for FREE. Just my luck.
  9. 1
    Quote from Breezy Girl
    For those saying that I shouldn't take it, I graduated last December, and this is the only job I've been offered. And IN the specialized department that I want. If I turn this job down, I may not get the opportunity to start in this department and it still may very well take 3 months or even longer to find another job.
    The above is one of my concerns with the current economic climate and new graduate nurses. Hospital employers exploiting the desperation of new graduate nurses seeking their initial employment by implementing programs like the above and using the excuse of needing to save money on new graduate nurse training. I understand it is expensive to train new graduate nurses but an unpaid internship is not the answer. From my perspective, it benefits the employer more than the new graduate nurse. They get the new graduate nurse for free but the new grad is held to the same expectations and standards as a practicing new nurse/employee.

    OP, please carefully consider this offer. Yes, this opportunity gives you an opportunity to gain some nursing skills and possibly employment with the company but it may have long-term effects too. This may set the precedence for future new graduate nurse internship programs in your local area (possibly at the state and national levels too).

    Assuming the three months involve some patient interaction and not spending the entire three months in a classroom setting, consider the stresses of working as a first-year nurse and not getting paid for the hard-work one is contributing for those three months (let alone patient lives and one's license). Just remember employers will be looking out for #1 first. Therefore, do not sympathize too much with the “was the way Sutter decided to do things to save themselves money from training New Grads and then them leaving after they get their year experience”. There are valid reasons for new graduate nurses leaving during that first year. Hospitals need to find ways to mitigate this issue without resorting to unpaid new grad internships.

    Quote from Breezy Girl
    Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd finally get a nursing job, only to work for FREE. Just my luck.
    Actually, one can still choose for this to not be their fortune by declining the offer.
    bloodlikefire likes this.
  10. 1
    Of course the employer hopes that they can get employees to go along with this scheme. They start with one, then three. After it has been going on for five years, a precedent has been set and nurses are working for free. Every shift that someone works for free is one less shift that someone else could have been been respected with a living wage. Having read this has sealed the deal with me and Sutter Healthcare. Frankly, I would have expected this from Kaiser, no less.
    Angel@MyTable likes this.
  11. 1
    That is the most asinine thing I've ever heard. I thought the "if you quit before the year is up you have to pay us $18000" scheme mentioned in another thread was bad, but this really takes the cake. I MIGHT consider taking lower pay (e.g. the going rate for new RNs here is $25, so I'd consider $20 for the orientation period) for the duration of the orientation a la a physician's residency if it were a top-notch, established program of training, but taking no pay for a half-baked program is absurd.

    I'd take a temp job flipping burgers before I worked as a nurse for free, with the exception of volunteer work for the needy, but I'm sure this hospital does not qualify as needy. Frankly, I'd worry about the sanity/ethics of the management there. It's one thing to try to make a buck (I'm a capitalist and am all for making a profit--how else would facilities be able to keep afloat and expand with time), but this is purely exploitation. Do they even give you any benefits? Or do they still charge you for parking?
    Last edit by Perpetual Student on Jun 17, '09 : Reason: for clarity
    Angel@MyTable likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from Breezy Girl
    Hey everyone, so I'm being offered a job through Sutter Health affiliate hospital and I've been told that they've changed the New Grad programs to being 3 months of unpaid training. I will be treated as an employee while I work, but just not get paid. I won't be contracted with the hospital at this time, and if I decided I wanted to leave, I can. But if I stay throught the whole training, I will be offered a full time position. I was told that this was the way Sutter decided to do things to save themselves money from training New Grads and then them leaving after they get their year experience.

    Has any of you heard of this before? And what are your thoughts? I am grateful for having this job offer, just somewhat shocked at the no pay thing.

    You should be shocked...this is ridiculous! This hospital is confused as to the leverage they THINK they have. The economy is NOT that bad...lol.

    Mex


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