Being sent home after floating?

  1. 1
    This has happened to me a couple of times, I have gone to work only to find out I am being floated. Then the unit I am floated to wants me to leave before 12 hours are up (the length of my usual shift), either because they don't have a full day's work for me (low census), or because the unit is outpatient and closing for the day (8 hour shifts there). When I complain to staffing they tell me there is nothing they can do and that I need to clock out and take vacation/holiday time or lose the rest of that day's pay. Can they do this, legally? People have also been floating twice and sometimes three times in one day at my hospital, which is a not very good alternative to being sent home since it is very stressful (floating once is bad enough!) If they don't have work for me, whatever, but I should be paid for the 12 hours, whether I go home or stay at work (I'd love a couple of free hours at work to read some nursing journals, actually).

    If I was a salaried office worker here (and they never work uncompensated overtime, mind you), I'd be sitting around until 6:00 yammering on the phone or surfing the internet. They wouldn't send me home and dock my pay if there wasn't anything to do.
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on Apr 21, '09
    barbyann likes this.
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Well, I agree with you, when circumstances are there for you to leave when you please, you can't. I don't know whether this practice is enough to make you unhappy with the job, but it sure would be near the top of a list of misgivings.
    barbyann likes this.
  6. 2
    If you had a union they couldn't, but if you don't, they can pretty much do whatever they like.
    wooh and barbyann like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from chigap
    If you had a union they couldn't, but if you don't, they can pretty much do whatever they like.

    Well, that just isn't true. It depends on what your contract language is. At our place, they are supposed to TRY and notifiy you 1 hours before you report that you will be floated.

    Per Diem nurses are floated first. During a 6 week schedule, per diems are floated twice and then it goes by seniority. So since I've already been floated twice this 6 week schedule and since I'm senior to all but about 5 other nurses in my entire unit, I'm not going next time!

    And we can be sent home mid-shift, as well. All depends on what the contract language is.
  8. 2
    Quote from firstyearstudent

    If I was a salaried office worker here (and they never work uncompensated overtime, mind you), I'd be sitting around until 6:00 yammering on the phone or surfing the internet. They wouldn't send me home and dock my pay if there wasn't anything to do.

    Valid point. When the census is low do they send home security personnel, kitchen help, secretaries, housekeeping, admin., valet attendants, etc.......Nope, just nursing staff. Remind me again why we tolerate this kind of inequity?
    wooh and canoehead like this.
  9. 1
    I sometimes drive 85 miles to one of my agency jobs only to be sent home after a couple of hours. It sucks out there right now. But at this time, any job is a good job.
    barbyann likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from gonzo1
    I sometimes drive 85 miles to one of my agency jobs only to be sent home after a couple of hours. It sucks out there right now. But at this time, any job is a good job.
    Our union contract includes language that regular staff will not be low-censused if an agency nurse is there. They tried, twice or three times, to keep an agency nurse (said, we have a contract with her) but send our regular nurses home. We replied: you have a contract with us, first. This happened during contract negotiations!

    But I was an agency nurse once and I really enjoyed it. Didn't have to be part of the political thing anywhere: just part of a staffing solution.
    Faeriewand likes this.
  11. 0
    This happens where I work also. Float somewhere, then if not needed after 8 hours, go home. Usually I am very happy to go home and have the choice of either using pto or not. This does get old when it happens to often though. I have my fingers crossed that this summer is not like last year. We were called off so often that none of us had any pto time by sept.
  12. 0
    Where I work they would have you return to your home unit and sometimes some else there wants to go home if not they rotate as others have mentioned. Per diems sent home first, then travelers(which they never want to do because they have to pay them anyways) then regular staff by amount of time called off in last 90 days(computer program that figures in your work status and what percent of that status you have already missed), if that is equal between 2 staff then the least Senior nurse has to go home. Sounds complex but isn't.

    Also if you float and they are over staffed and one of their staff wants to go home they aren't allowed to. You can't float to cover some other units early off request. This decreases the amount of floating units have to do.
  13. 0
    Quote from batmik
    Where I work they would have you return to your home unit and sometimes some else there wants to go home if not they rotate as others have mentioned. Per diems sent home first, then travelers(which they never want to do because they have to pay them anyways) then regular staff by amount of time called off in last 90 days(computer program that figures in your work status and what percent of that status you have already missed), if that is equal between 2 staff then the least Senior nurse has to go home. Sounds complex but isn't.

    Also if you float and they are over staffed and one of their staff wants to go home they aren't allowed to. You can't float to cover some other units early off request. This decreases the amount of floating units have to do.
    On principal, as a per diem nurse, I'd raise heck if they sent me home before a traveler. I am a regular employee, the traveler not. Our contract protects us from exactly that.


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