Can they make you work full time and not pay you benefits?

  1. 0
    Hey lovely nurses, so recently I just accepted a Per-diem job offer. They said there's a nurse on maternity leave, and would like me to cover her full time, 40 hours a week- if i want.

    my Questions are :
    1) is there a law saying that you can just hire per diem nurses and give them full time, without requiring to give employee benefits..???? is there such a thing as, if I work over a certain hours, they're mandated to give me some sort of benefits?????

    2) do per diem nurses get a cap on the number of hours they can work per week.? and if you go over that cap, the employer has to offer benefits?

    3) They also offered XX amount of dollar per hour. does that mean if i switch to full time or part time in the future, that hourly rate decreases?

    4) how long does maternity leave last??

    5) did you ever negotiate salary? what about your first job?

    sorrie newbie here. thanks for your help
    Last edit by jxRN on Jun 8, '10

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  2. 36 Comments...

  3. 1
    Nobody can make you work 40 hours a week if you don't want to.

    Sure, not every employer offers benefits.

    You have to be selective and assertive. If you are being hired for a term position, you probably won't qualify for the benefits offered a "regular" employee.
    jxRN likes this.
  4. 1
    Quote from Fiona59
    If you are being hired for a term position, you probably won't qualify for the benefits offered a "regular" employee.
    But you probably will be making a premium rate. As Fiona59 said no one can make you work full time if you aren't interested. I'd grab as many hours as I could while they are available and make a good impression if you want them to consider hiring you on as staff at some point.
    jxRN likes this.
  5. 3
    No employer or workplace is mandated to offer benefits to any of their employees. Fringe benefits, such as retirement and health insurance, are considered "extras" in facilities that are not unionized. Good companies know that offering fringe benefits, good working conditions, and support are a few of the things that will enhance employee retention.

    Also, if you are per diem status or a PRN employee, it is generally accepted that you will not receive benefits, regardless of how many hours you work.
  6. 2
    As has been said, no one can "make" you accept this job. If you are perdiem, you work as you want. And benefits are a luxury, not a requirement.

    If, however, this is your first job offer (as it seems), I think I would take it and run, just to get the experience. Maybe you can buy a health insurance policy that won't bankrupt you to cover catastrophic health crises while you work and gain experience. And if you make a good impression, who knows? They might make you a permanent offer.
    jxRN and Jules A like this.
  7. 2
    If you're hired as a per diem nurse without benefits, you're not going to get benefits, no matter how many hours you work. As already noted, employers are not required by law to offer anyone benefits; as long as they follow their own established policies and treat everyone equally/fairly in accordance with their own policies, they're not doing anything wrong. You agreed to no benefits when you took the per diem position.

    "Maternity leave" varies greatly. Since v. few American employers offer paid maternity leave, how long people stay out largely depends on how long they can afford to stay home. I work per diem and recently did the same thing you're asking about, worked full-time temporarily to cover for a nurse on maternity leave (no, I didn't get benefits during that time ), and that nurse came back to work full-time after just six weeks -- as soon as her physician cleared her physically to return to work -- because her short-term disability ended as soon as her physician said she was able to work, and her family couldn't get along without her income. Other people stay out longer periods of time, or, sometimes, never return to work.

    It is standard practice that per diem nurses get paid more (often quite a bit more) per hour than the permanent staff nurses, to compensate for the irregular schedule and lack of benefits. It's safe to assume that, if you take a permanent, regular staff position in the future, you will get paid less per hour than you're making now.

    New graduates are rarely in a position to negotiate salary or anything else about a job, since new grads have little to offer employers. In fact, when the costs of hiring and orientation are taken into account, new graduates are a financial burden to employers for the first year or so. The way it usually works is that an employer offers you their standard salary/package for new graduates, and, if you don't like it, there are plenty of other new grads who will be happy to get it (esp. these days, where there are so many new grads and so few jobs -- employers are definitely "in the driver's seat" these days), so the employer moves on to the next person on the list.

    Best wishes!
    OgopogoLPN and jxRN like this.
  8. 1
    It might vary from state to state. Where I live employers are required to offer health insurance if they employ over a defined number of employees (don't remember the #). If you are hired per diem, you usually make a higher wage to make up for no benefits. It would be up to your employer whether you would take a pay cut if you took a "temporary" full time position If you don't need the benefits tell them you want the hours but want to retain your per diem status keeping in mind if the census on your unit drops you will be first canceled, first sent home early.
    jxRN likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from jxrn
    hey lovely nurses, so recently i just accepted a per-diem job offer. they said there's a nurse on maternity leave, and would like me to cover her full time, 40 hours a week- if i want.

    my questions are :
    1) is there a law saying that you can just hire per diem nurses and give them full time, without requiring to give employee benefits..???? no employer is required to provide benefits beyond paying into social security and unemployment. is there such a thing as, if i work over a certain hours, they're mandated to give me some sort of benefits????? nope - benefits are provided at the sole discretion of the employer.

    2) do per diem nurses get a cap on the number of hours they can work per week.? nope - the only issue is that you're due 1.5x ot if you work over 40 hours in a week. and if you go over that cap, the employer has to offer benefits? nope - no requirement for benefits.

    3) they also offered xx amount of dollar per hour. does that mean if i switch to full time or part time in the future, that hourly rate decreases? compensation is agreed upon at the outset of employment and then with any change to status. they can raise it or (gasp) lower it as they see fit. typically, however, per diem workers get paid a higher rate than benefitted, permanent employees precisely because of the lack of benefits. there is not, however, any requirement that they do so.

    4) how long does maternity leave last?? it can vary, depending on the employer and the state in which the job is.

    5) did you ever negotiate salary? yes, a number of times. what about your first job? no way -- i was just happy to get the offer. i'm also new to nursing... when i received my offer, i didn't even consider trying to negotiate because i knew that there were 10, 20, 50, 100 folks just like me willing to take the job.

    sorrie newbie here. thanks for your help
    this may all be redundant with prior posts.
    jxRN likes this.
  10. 1
    Thank you all for the replies!!!!!!!!!! This clears up a lot, since i'm a new grad i'm unsure of how the system works.

    this is my first real nursing position

    i just accepted the job offer with no hesitation, just some lingering thoughts. thanks for clearing it up! i'm happy to get a position as a new grad in california
    ♪♫ in my ♥ likes this.
  11. 0
    By the way...congrats on your entry into the crazy world of nursing!!:0)


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