illegal activity

  1. has anyone ever heard that working 24 hours straight is illegal? i had worked 12 hrs day shift and the night shift was desperate for help so i stayed until the next morning. total 24 hrs paywise not to mention 30 min non paid breaks. anyway, i'm hearing through the grapevine that my boss is now claiming it was illegal. i told the day charge i would stay as long as i could and the night charge nurse certainly wasn't going to send me home knowing they needed help so bad. they better not try to deny my pay. no one ever mentioned me leaving earlier or that it was "against the rules". probably have to get my union involved again for trying to help out. sad! ps> i realize working that many hours is not ideal and wouldn't do it routinely but there were only 2 nurses for 22 pts with two new admits to be done. i felt sorry for the nurses. they had worked the night before with only two nurses on and 21 pts. the manager came in but told them she could only sit at the desk and answer the phone. pretty pitiful, huh?
    Last edit by tiger on Sep 17, '02
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   rdhdnrs
    In Arkansas, 20 hours straight is the max.
  4. by   CEN35
    ohio,.................. 20 hours is max, and you then get an 8 hour break. however, in ohio, you are supposed to get 2, 15 minutes breaks, and a half hour lunch. i was there 12 hoursd today, and got a 6 min lunch.........nice eh?

    me
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    My understanding is that 20 hours is the max with an 8 hour minimum break then until your next shift, as CEN35 said. However, with standard break time (lunch and 15 minute breaks) they can be waived by mutual agreement between the employee and company depending on the needs of the workplace as long as the missed break time is then considered PAID time.

    I am trying to come up with a link to the 20 hour figure and am coming up blank. Anyone else have one?

    Tiger - I presume your supervisor (or a supervisor) knew you were doing this, whether or no they knew it didn't meet the legal test. They may not want to pay because then there is a record of what happened, but you worked it and they owe it. Whoever tacitly or outrightly allowed you to stay for that period would potentially be in trouble, but it's important for you to know your state law to cover your own butt. I'll keep hunting for a link.
  6. by   JonRN
    Even in the Army we could only work 18 on 6 off during emergency combat operations (not in actual combat). Very unsafe to work more than that. I once fell on top of a patient and went to sleep on him before the 18/6 rule was enacted.

    Pappy
  7. by   sunnygirl272
    can't seem to find anything that states maximum hours allowed per 24 hour period...but her eis this
    http://labor.state.nv.us/
  8. by   Rustyhammer
    I've done a couple of 24's before because there was no relief and couldn't go home.
    I'm sure there are plenty of people who have done it. Doesn't make it legal or right but how can you leave?
    -Russell
  9. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by tiger
    has anyone ever heard that working 24 hours straight is illegal? i had worked 12 hrs day shift and the night shift was desperate for help so i stayed until the next morning. total 24 hrs paywise not to mention 30 min non paid breaks. anyway, i'm hearing through the grapevine that my boss is now claiming it was illegal. i told the day charge i would stay as long as i could and the night charge nurse certainly wasn't going to send me home knowing they needed help so bad. they better not try to deny my pay. no one ever mentioned me leaving earlier or that it was "against the rules". probably have to get my union involved again for trying to help out. sad! ps> i realize working that many hours is not ideal and wouldn't do it routinely but there were only 2 nurses for 22 pts with two new admits to be done. i felt sorry for the nurses. they had worked the night before with only two nurses on and 21 pts. the manager came in but told them she could only sit at the desk and answer the phone. pretty pitiful, huh?
    Yikes!
    If they try to wrangle out of paying you, then they will be in violation of Nevada law, pure & simple. I was looking at the link provided by sunnygirl & saw statutes dealing with non-payment of employees...Stay on them on this one.
  10. by   stressedlpn
    For 3 months I would work 24hr shift every sunday, as prev. stated in ark. 20hrs max is the law, however I would clock out for 1 1/2 hour lunch breaks every 12. Not to say I actually stopped those hours but I would clock out. I loved it, I got half my hours in one day. and only had to pull one 12 after that, The people I worked with were great, If I got too tired and we were slow I curled up in our sleep room and took a quick nap.
  11. by   mattcastens
    I'm not entirely sure what circumstances dictate what. Our flight nurses, for example, work 24-hour shifts, but 18 of them are regular and the rest are on-site on call. Sometimes they end up working almost 24 straight, but rarely. Obviously other occupations work 24-hour shifts (i.e. firefighters).

    As for your average nurse working 24 straight, I'm not sure how it works. It seems to me that I've always been told I couldn't work more than 20 straight .... not that I've wanted to. I haven't even worked 16 straight in quite a few years.
  12. by   lgcv
    Federal law does not mandate the number of hours you can work. Some states will limit the number of hours, but most do not. You would have to check with your states wage and hour board to determine what laws, if any, are applicable.
  13. by   sjoe
    Your union should have the answers to all your questions without your having to look in numerous places.
  14. by   nrsjo
    The nurses who work in our trauma OR are routinely scheduled for 24-hour shifts. And no, they don't get to sleep during that time, they are working. They like the schedule that way, don't ask me why........

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