Hurricane Lili update

  1. Well, we made it through the hurricane OK with little damage to our home (couple of shingles, part of a fence) and praise the Lord there were no fatalities due to the storm (although we've had one CO poisoning from using gas-powered generator INSIDE the house) and only three minor injuries.

    I was on disaster call for Thursday (the day the storm hit) but I did not have to work. I was thankful for that. Especially since those nurses who had to report early for shifts (Thurs AM, PM and Fri AM had to report Thurs by 6 AM) did not get paid other than the time they worked, even though they were not allowed to leave the hospital. They did get free meals (one slice of ham sandwiches) but no snacks or drinks (the machines were well stocked). Not only was there no extra hours, there was also no extra pay (time-and-a-half) unless you were in overtime. There were no beds and no available showers (even though the hospital did not lose water at all and electricity for only a short time).

    One of the nurses in my ACLS class last week said she'd worked during Hurricane Andrew (1992) and the hospital paid them time-and-a-half for the whole time they were there (not just work hours) and fed them well and supplied snacks, etc. I think some people probably volunteered because of that. I'm guessing there will be no more volunteering in the future. Of course, if we only have one major hurricane every 10 years, the nurses that worked this one won't even BE nurses anymore and no one will be around to tell the story of getting screwed during Lili.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Brita01
    That figures! Another way to screw nurses who don't have the heart to leave town when they know that there will be needy patients out there. I hope when the next hurricane comes thru, all those nurses who stayed this time around, and other nurses decide to become unavailable. That'll teach that hospital a lesson. How can they make nurses come in all those hours before their shift and not pay them for it? That sounds a little funny to me. So glad I got out of that crappy environment.
  4. by   deespoohbear
    Tightwad administration!! That crap ought to be illegal!! I am glad to hear that you didn't have much damage at your home, but your post about the way the hospital treated you makes my blood boil!! In the future if the hospital is desperate for staffing because of high census, all the nurses should say "too bad." I don't know if you have mandatory overtime, but if you don't this would be a good way to let the suits you are not impressed with the way the staff was treated during what could have been a major diasaster with a lot of casulaties. Again, I am thankful that your home didn't suffer major damage. .
  5. by   Youda
    I think this is something that you all, together, should take to the Department of Labor. If you are REQUIRED to be there (and are not allowed to leave), it is illegal for them to not pay you for your time. You were "on-call" during the time you were required to stay at the hospital. The law says that if you were there "to benefit the employer" then you should be paid. They aren't only tightwads, they're messing with you twice. And it is illegal!!!Please see this link at the DOL, and fight for your rights!!!

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs31.htm
    Last edit by Youda on Oct 8, '02
  6. by   whipping girl in 07
    Thanks for the link. I wasn't affected by the lack of OT for having to be there and it's possible that they dropped the "requirement" to be there after the storm ended up not lasting very long. I know I did get an e-mail (on Wednesday, no less) from administration that said you would only be paid for the time you worked, no OT unless you were over 40 hrs, and if you were scheduled to work Thurs AM, PM or Fri AM, you had to show up Thurs AM. Maybe everyone who was scheduled Thurs AM was also scheduled Fri AM. I know one of my co-workers was scheduled Thurs PM and she did not show up early. But the storm was over by then (although I guess if some roads had been blocked or flooded, she would have not made it to work on time for her shift and been in trouble). She didn't even know about the e-mail from admin (I read it Saturday night at work).
  7. by   Youda
    Not only should you all have gotten paid for all the time you were at the hospital, but hazard pay as well. Any other profession would have gotten it. I just don't understand why nurses continue to be handed this plate of ______. This isn't right, folks. It's so very NOT right!
  8. by   jnette
    ditto...ditto..ditto !!! Go GET 'em, Youda !
  9. by   deespoohbear
    originally posted by youda
    not only should you all have gotten paid for all the time you were at the hospital, but hazard pay as well. any other profession would have gotten it. i just don't understand why nurses continue to be handed this plate of ______. this isn't right, folks. it's so very not right!
    you go girl!!
  10. by   whipping girl in 07
    OK, stupid me, I had deleted the e-mail about what we were supposed to do for the hurricane. Lucky for me I have a friend at work who rarely checks her e-mail, so I called her and she forwarded it to me.

    "Those employees SCHEDULED to work the following shifts - SHOULD ALL REPORT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE UNITS NO LATER THAN 6:00 am THURSDAY MORNING. Individuals should use their own judgement regarding local weather however; if you believe you need more time to come into work safely, please do so.

    Thursday Day Shift
    Thursday Evening Shift
    Thursday Night Shift
    Friday Day Shift

    Blah, blah, blah

    All employees previously scheduled to work, on call, or newly reassigned, in essential work areas (defined as those where hospital operations continue) will be paid their regular rates of pay and any supplemental pay (e.g. shift diff, overtime, call pay) for which they are normally eligible. Employees should clock in and out as usual for as long as timeclocks are functional, or otherwise check in and out with their supervisors. Again, we will not schedule any one individual for more than 16 hours of work in a 24 hour period and will provide sleeping accomodations within the main facility for working individuals.

    Blah, blah, blah

    (Here's the best part
    ...and provide them with minimal bagged meals, requiring them to bring their own snacks, water, supplies, bedding, towels, change of clothes, etc. Such accomodations will not include shower facilities, will have potentially many people in very close quarters, and may or may not have electrical services."

    I may get in trouble for posting this, if an administrator finds out, but I thought the world needed to know. The state labor board is going to find out tomorrow. I'm so glad the hospital put it in writing. Hell, maybe I should send it to the newspaper.
  11. by   Youda
    Originally posted by konnihall
    I may get in trouble for posting this, if an administrator finds out, but I thought the world needed to know. The state labor board is going to find out tomorrow. I'm so glad the hospital put it in writing. Hell, maybe I should send it to the newspaper.

    GOOD FOR YOU !!!

    Call your local radio or TV station and get the toll-free number for UPS and the AP wire services. Give them the story. Tell them about the emails, how the nurses came to help, then had to bring their own food, that the hospital refused to pay you . . . :kiss
  12. by   whipping girl in 07
    I just can't let this one die.

    I went to my local AACN meeting tonight, and after the presentation I asked some of the nurses that work at my hospital if they worked before/during/after the hurricane. One of them said she did, and she works on what I guess you could call our "sister" floor since we have the same nurse manager. She told me that she was PHYSICALLY stopped by security Thursday AM when trying to leave to go home. She lives only a couple of blocks from the hospital. She could have WALKED back to work that night if the roads were bad (or floated back if the town was under water). The hurricane had not made landfall yet and the winds were not that bad at that point. I guess the point could be made that the hospital was just protecting her safety, but you know what, she is an adult and I believe if she wanted to leave, she should have been able to. So she (and others) were FORCED to stay and sleep ON THE FLOOR WITH NO SHOWER FACILITIES without getting paid.

    She told me that she complained (our NM is out of town, so I'm not sure who she talked to first) but the hospital legal department has already called her three times this week, trying to get as much information as possible. I guess they are trying to figure out what they are going to do. I just wonder if they are only going to pay the people who complain or if they will backpedal and pay everyone. Only problem is, it's kind of hard to know exactly who was there since everyone was told to clock in and out.

    Incidentally, all the other hospitals in town paid 24 hour pay and time and a half, even the "for-profits" and the state owned "charity" hospitals.

    How do you like that?

    I was sick today, and I also wanted to make sure that what the e-mail said is what really happened, but tomorrow, I'm making some phone calls.
  13. by   Youda
    LOL! I love it.
    Keep us posted!

    Those scumbags!

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