Is your facility warning staff for overtime, for missing lunch breaks or other? - page 4

I've been hearing of nurses getting counseled or warnings about overtime, for missing lunch breaks, late admissions, and misc other reasons... and/or hospitals requiring you to clock out on time,... Read More

  1. by   EmmaG
    Non-exempt employees must be compensated for any time during which they perform activities that benefit the employer.
    Arg..... this gets my blood boiling. Sorry...I don't work for free.
  2. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    There's no 'should' about it--- it's mandated by law. But like the DOL rep told me, employers can do whatever they want and get away with it, until it's reported.
    Is this mandated by law, as far as "nursing" goes? Or by state? Because in the state of AZ there is NO law mandating breaks/lunches.
  3. by   EmmaG
    Quote from RainDreamer
    Is this mandated by law, as far as "nursing" goes? Or by state? Because in the state of AZ there is NO law mandating breaks/lunches.
    http://allnurses.com/forums/2417998-post21.html
    http://allnurses.com/forums/2418046-post22.html

    • Section Number: 785.19
    • Section Name: Meal.
    (a) Bona fide meal periods. Bona fide meal periods are not worktime.
    Bona fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These are rest periods. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is long enough for a bona fide meal period. A shorter period may be long enough under special conditions.

    The employee is not relieved if he is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at his desk or a factory worker who is required to be at his machine is working while eating.

    (b) Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that
    an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise
    completely freed from duties during the meal period
    .
    According to the DOL rep I spoke with, if you don't get at least 30 uninterrupted minutes away from your work per shift, your employer is obligated under law to pay you for that time.
    Last edit by EmmaG on Oct 10, '07
  4. by   socalpca
    Quote from brian
    I've been hearing of nurses getting counseled or warnings about overtime, for missing lunch breaks, late admissions, and misc other reasons... and/or hospitals requiring you to clock out on time, then you have to submit your overtime separately with documentation why you had to have overtime.

    Is your facility warning staff for overtime, for missing lunch breaks or other reasons?

    We'd love to hear your experiences and feedback!

    Please feel free to share your experience regarding and answering the poll questions.
    My facility recently started a policy that any exployee who clocks out more than 5 minutes late needs to provide a written reason for the late clock-out and that rationale has to be defended and signed off by the Charge RN for that shift. If the powers that be don't agree with the explanation, both the staff RN and the Charge RN face counseling.

    On the one hand, it's nice because we all seem to leave on time more often. However, the negatives out-weigh the positives. Tasks are increasingly passed off to the next shift and I feel that animosity between day & night shift will increase as this policy goes forward.
  5. by   RainDreamer
    Thanks.

    If this is mandated by law, then why do we hear all of this about people "not having time to sit down all shift" or "never getting a lunch break". Of course employers are going to try and get away with it if they can, especially if they are able to take advantage of people that make it easy to do so, by not demanding they get their breaks.
    Last edit by RainDreamer on Oct 10, '07
  6. by   EmmaG
    Quote from RainDreamer
    Thanks.

    If this is mandated by law, then why do we hear all of this about people "not having time to sit down all shift" or "never getting a lunch break". Of course employers are going to try and get away with it if they can, especially if they are able to take advantage of people that make it easy to do so, by not demanding they get their breaks.
    I realize my post above the prior one isn't clear. I don't think it's a law that you must have a lunch break, but they must pay you if you don't get one. The DOL rep told me the key is it must be uninterrupted, and that is where most hospitals fail. How many times when you DO get to sit down and eat are you asked about a patient, etc? If that happens, it is considered to be work and you are eligible to be paid for those 30 minutes. Does that make sense?
  7. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    I realize my post above the prior one isn't clear. I don't think it's a law that you must have a lunch break, but they must pay you if you don't get one. The DOL rep told me the key is it must be uninterrupted, and that is where most hospitals fail. How many times when you DO get to sit down and eat are you asked about a patient, etc? If that happens, it is considered to be work and you are eligible to be paid for those 30 minutes. Does that make sense?
    Ohhh ok. Yeah I thought you were saying Fed. law mandated employers giving you breaks/lunches. And I had NEVER heard that before, so I was wondering how I had been so out of the loop! lol

    Thanks for clarifying that!

    I must work in an unusual place because very rarely do I get interrupted during my break/lunch. I mean it has happened on occasion, but it's rare and I never felt like I was cheated out of my break/lunch.
  8. by   EmmaG
    Quote from socalpca
    My facility recently started a policy that any exployee who clocks out more than 5 minutes late needs to provide a written reason for the late clock-out and that rationale has to be defended and signed off by the Charge RN for that shift. If the powers that be don't agree with the explanation, both the staff RN and the Charge RN face counseling.

    On the one hand, it's nice because we all seem to leave on time more often. However, the negatives out-weigh the positives. Tasks are increasingly passed off to the next shift and I feel that animosity between day & night shift will increase as this policy goes forward.
    It's a 24 hour facility. Not everything can be done in one shift.

    Our hospital was forever pushing the envelope lol. A couple of years after the lunch fiasco, we were told that if we worked over and hadn't received prior approval, we wouldn't be paid for it. They were also caught adjusting some clock-in times. Then there was the time they decided to do away with our film badges we wore when caring for radiation patients. And yes, I called the appropriate federal agencies in each of the above instances, and the hospital received notice that no, they weren't above the law no matter how badly they wished to be.

    One of the nurses on our sister unit reported her director had instructed her staff to clock out on time and then complete all their tasks they weren't able to finish on time. They got slammed for that as well.

    But if we sit back and say nothing, these hospitals will continue to abuse their staff on these issues and get away with it.
  9. by   EmmaG
    Quote from RainDreamer
    Ohhh ok. Yeah I thought you were saying Fed. law mandated employers giving you breaks/lunches. And I had NEVER heard that before, so I was wondering how I had been so out of the loop! lol

    Thanks for clarifying that!

    I must work in an unusual place because very rarely do I get interrupted during my break/lunch. I mean it has happened on occasion, but it's rare and I never felt like I was cheated out of my break/lunch.
    You've been very lucky indeed. I have only worked one unit in all these years where that was the case. Interestingly enough, they had an extremely low turn-over. Hmmm...
  10. by   jlanderslvn
    I WORK DOUBLE WEEKENDS AT AN LTC FACILITY WHILE I AM GETTING MY RN. THE NURSES THROUGH THE WEEK FEEL LIKE I HAVE EXTRA TIME ON MY HANDS SO THEY LEAVE THINGS FOR ME. I AM SUPPOSED TO WORK 6 AM TO 10 PM BUT IT IS MORE LIKE 545 TO 1130 OR 12 BECAUSE OF ADMISSIONS, CNA's THAT ARE CONSTANTLY GOING TO SMOKE AND CHARTING ON 30 REHAB PATIENTS AND 5 GTUBES AND TRACHES. I LOVE MY PATIENTS BUT I FEAR THAT THEY FEEL NEGLECTED SOME DAYS. THEY ASK WHY IM NOT SPENDING AS MUCH TIME CARING FOR THEM AND I DONT SAY THE REAL REASON , BECAUSE MY LOAD HAS DOUBLED AND I HAVE LESS STAFF.IT IS SAD.ADMIN COMPLAINS ABOUT ME NOT TAKING LUNCH SO MOST TIMES I DON'T REPORT IT AND THEY COUNCEL ME ON THE OVERTIME AND I TELL THEM TO GET MORE HELP THEN I CAN GET OFF ON TIME.THEY HAVEN'T DONE IT YET SO WE BOTH LIVE WITH IT.
  11. by   icunurse2005
    There are some people who socialize on the clock who make it bad for the rest of the staff. I would love to see our manager walk through @ 0700 & 1900 and ask what can be done to help you get out on time. Then they would see who is working & who is just visiting. Also, they could prevent interruptions to our change-of-shift report. In my unit if your assignment is the first 2 beds you can count on numerous interruptions to report. Our unit is closed only 4 hours daily, 0600-0800 & 1800-2000, the doors lock down and a badge is required to open the doors. That bell will still ring many times and the door must be opened manually. The manager or charge nurse could certainly handle that. Also, DRs take your charts or round during report and need a bedside nurse. They could handle many of those cases, too. With all the mandated forms and double and triple charting & consequences for incremental overtime, it is cutting in to additional time I would spend @ the bedside. I often clock out for lunch and set an alarm to remind me to clock back in because I am still working. I LOVE bedside nursing, but these administrative hassles really get in the way.
  12. by   tish666
    My facility has started writing us up for clocking in early or staying over without a "good reason" . The reason? Nursing is $1,000,000. over budget for the year. Of course all the extra help we had for JCAHO and Magnet were counted. Our old staffing levels were 5:1, once in a while 6:1, team leaders had 2 patients. Now we subtract 4, (Team leaders each get 2) then divide the remaining patients by 5. if you have 23 you get 4 floor nurses, 3 of whom have 6 patients. But , we have also been warned that Patient Satisfaction scores are not supposed to fall. I work a Medical/Oncology floor. As hard as we try I just don't see this working.
  13. by   susyn153
    I could not agree more, I worked for a nursing home that saw me sit to lunch uninterupted maybee once the entire year I worked there. I also never got paid for 30 min out of each day that I was there and WORKING. I also got hassled for having a cup of tea (covered) or a bottle of water at my desk. My too smart response was "do you want me malnourished and dehydrated" they did not appreciate that response. I actually got written up for having a bottle of water. I wished I knew about the uninterupted thing, that would have been great. We were absolutly not allowed to clock in early or late, it did lead to ALOT of animosity on the next shift. They also thought that 30 patients to one nurse was ok because my supervisor was supposed to help out. She was never there. They had a massive turnover and it so disheartened me that I have not worked in LTC since. I just can't face it.


    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    It's a 24 hour facility. Not everything can be done in one shift.

    Our hospital was forever pushing the envelope lol. A couple of years after the lunch fiasco, we were told that if we worked over and hadn't received prior approval, we wouldn't be paid for it. They were also caught adjusting some clock-in times. Then there was the time they decided to do away with our film badges we wore when caring for radiation patients. And yes, I called the appropriate federal agencies in each of the above instances, and the hospital received notice that no, they weren't above the law no matter how badly they wished to be.

    One of the nurses on our sister unit reported her director had instructed her staff to clock out on time and then complete all their tasks they weren't able to finish on time. They got slammed for that as well.

    But if we sit back and say nothing, these hospitals will continue to abuse their staff on these issues and get away with it.

close