"If you sit down and chart for more than 15 minutes, that's considered a break" - page 3

We just had another wonderful meeting with management that usually points out our flaws, our low scores, introduces another document to sign during our shifts, and generally are a drag. ESPECIALLY... Read More

  1. by   Batman24
    Quote from pennyaline
    Better than that. If they put it in writing, take the written policy change to the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. The DOL frowns severely upon employers who tell employees to do work activity on unpaid time.
    Exactly. I don't think they will put it in writing because they know it's illegal but if some dumbass does it I would bring it to the Dept of Labor pronto. They'd be royally screwed. And know that if they don't put it in writing they are just trying to bully all of you to do it and seeing what they can get away with. Don't stand for it.
  2. by   SunnyAndrsn
    I would be seriously tempted to chart sitting for 14 minutes, then announce "It's time for my break." LOL! Of course the policy would end up changed to 10 minutes then.


    No freakin' way would I take this one.
  3. by   Shenanigans
    Hah, really? Seesh! It took me an hour (overtime, which I didn't claim) yesterday to do all the paperwork I have to do.

    We have a "smoking cessation" form where we ask pts if they want assist quitting, the form asks smokers how much they smoke, how long they've smoked, and if they want to quit and if they want our help. Now, management has told us we have to do these forms on people who DON'T smoke.

    What a waste of bloody time!
  4. by   loricatus
    After 14 minutes on a timer, get up stretch walk around and go right back to charting. I would be putting those kitchen ones that dings right by the computer.

    You technically followed orders and didn't sit for 15 minutes straight.

    Passive agressiveness is the way to combat this stupidity.
  5. by   nyteshade
    Oooh, oooh my turn: So if the management/admins are sitting down for 8 hours a day that should be considered a break...an unpaid break...
  6. by   glasgow3
    There are folks who post on this site who insist that unions are unnecessary, that they are no longer relevant; I would respectfully disagree.

    The fact is federal labor law permits these sorts of abuses. By law, they don't have to give you a break of any kind at all. (Now they DO have to pay you for actual time worked but that's another issue.)

    And your individual state may have additional protections (guaranteed breaks, lunches etc) but the majority do not).

    Thread after thread on this discussion board demonstrates the need for unionization---without a contract management can and will do anything they can to save a nickel at the nurse's expense.
  7. by   cherrybreeze
    I'm not sure how the law works....I thought the law DOES state that you have to have a break in X number of hours. Most policy and procedure manuals do, at least. Charting is working, and since you're working it's obviously not a break (wow, I sure can state the obvious )...I would look and see if there is a law that states that taking breaks is required, and anonymously submit a copy. This has to be the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a LONG time. Wow.

    Definitely make your collective voices heard. If everyone comes together, and makes it known that EVERYONE is against it and the reasons why (and the reasons why are solid), they would hopefully come around. Forcing people to work on a break (which is essentially what they are doing) has to be illegal.....I know, for example, that we are absolutely not allowed to come in and start preparing early when we're not punched in, or punch out and then continue to chart if we're there late, and this isn't really any different.
  8. by   StNeotser
    Wow. I guess office workers spend their whole working lives on break then. Wonder why anyone needs them.

    Your management is scum. Are they going to have snoops doing surveillance to determine who has been sitting for 14 minutes and who has been sitting for 16 minutes?
  9. by   southernbeegirl
    i would have so much fun with this policy. i love love love the idea of the timer set on 14 minutes! they'd rue the day they ever told me this new policy, lol
  10. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from pennyaline
    Better than that. If they put it in writing, take the written policy change to the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. The DOL frowns severely upon employers who tell employees to do work activity on unpaid time.
    Unlike the 30-minute lunch break, 15-minute breaks tend to be paid breaks, so the employer, by the letter of the law, would not be requiring the employee to work unpaid. While most states require a 30-minute unpaid break and all states require that employees be paid for all time worked, only 7 states require employers to provide paid break periods. The DOL may not be of much help unless employees are being forced to work during an unpaid break period. I agree, though, that it would be very bad publicity for the hospital if word got out about it to the community.
  11. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    I would call your union and if you don't have a union then I would speak to the director of nursing or the CEO of the hospital. Management is trying to bully you guys and someone needs to stand up to them.

  12. by   sunshine888
    that is ridiculous...i have never heard of such rules..the place that I work @ management is really good...for 12 hr shift we get 1 half hour and 2 15min breaks...and if we want we can combine the half hour with one 15 min total of 45 minutes for lunch. No body checks on if u are sitting around or taking long breaks...as long as u chart appropriately and get ur job done they dont bother you....good luck with ur letter to the CEO
  13. by   LisalaRN99
    I agree with all the other posters....call the labor board. After that, truly take a look at how often you round on your patients in between sitting and charting. And I don't just mean just answering call bells. As long as your patients are stable, clean, happy, adequately medicated, what's the beef? Have a seat!