Is your facility warning staff for overtime, for missing lunch breaks or other? - page 6

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   zadee123
    Sorry Newbie but this is a very dangerous practice. Please don't work off the clock. If anything happened to a patient during that time you would be considered not authorized to care for patients at that time and could be sued by the owners, hospital, family and/or patient for any incurred legal costs and medical costs. The hospital and owner could also turn around and sue you for their legal costs and incurred medical expenses. We all have big hearts and want the very best for our patients. What you are doing is saying to the hospital "no matter what load you give me I will complete it at my own expense." This is a form of abuse in the work place. Employers put stress on staff to not work over time and not to give up breaks thus forcing you to try to complete a task that can't be done in the time alloted. This makes them look good on paper and you look bad on paper because you didn't get your breaks and you had to work overtime because you were short 1 or even 2 nurses and the techs and equipment you needed to complete the job. It is a frequent pattern to use this paperwork to terminate employees who have many years of experience and a higher pay level. Never work off the clock. Overtime demonstrates to the governing authorities how well the hospital is functioning. The more overtime the more difficulties a facility is having. The more contract workers and agency staff hired the more difficulty a facility is having getting the job done. This is a marker that tells the truth about the facility. No matter what paperwork they have used against you. Any governing agency can quickly look at the books and tell how well a facility is functioning or not functioning. Protect yourself. Do all the work you can safely do for the patient. Never risk your license to protect the facility. The facility owes you its respect because you are the reason for the money coming in. You are the backbone and with you they have nothing but an empty building and a pile of law suites.
  2. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    You can have a "talking-to" if you have overtime but you can also be put down for not staying over. Which way is the wind blowing today?
  3. by   ShayRN
    The head cook in our new facility tried this with the kitchen staff. I was at the nurses station one day and heard the time clock punch, so I turned around to say good bye to the lady that was leaving. She said, "oh, I am not done yet, but we are not allowed to have overtime." My butt was on the phone with the director in 2 seconds flat. I informed him of what was going on and told him a copy of the Department of Labor's laws regarding overtime and working off the clock would be in his mailbox in the AM. I also informed him he was setting us up for a lawsuit if she fell while mopping the kitchen floors while off the clock. I then told him I would PERSONALLY call and report the incident if the policy and practices were not changed. After much sputtering, he told me he wasn't aware this was happening (yeah, right) and that he would make sure she gets paid what is owed. However, I have never heard anyone punch out and go back to work after. Nor has comment been made about MY overtime. Amazing what can happen when you have FEDERAL LAW to back you.
  4. by   EmmaG
    Well said, Zadee. Not only are you risking professional liability by working off the clock, if you are injured you will NOT be covered. For those who argue they are "only" doing paperwork and charting off the clock... we had a nurse who clocked out and returned to the computer to finish her charting. When she sat down, the chair was broken and she fell to the floor, injuring her back bad enough that she needed to be treated and out of work for a time. The hospital's workers' comp carrier refused to cover her, as she was 'not at work'.

    Think, people!
  5. by   morte
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Well said, Zadee. Not only are you risking professional liability by working off the clock, if you are injured you will NOT be covered. For those who argue they are "only" doing paperwork and charting off the clock... we had a nurse who clocked out and returned to the computer to finish her charting. When she sat down, the chair was broken and she fell to the floor, injuring her back bad enough that she needed to be treated and out of work for a time. The hospital's workers' comp carrier refused to cover her, as she was 'not at work'.

    Think, people!
    she should have been able to win that one, you are "at work" while on their property...for this purose....not the prof liab issue
  6. by   EmmaG
    Quote from morte
    she should have been able to win that one, you are "at work" while on their property...for this purose....not the prof liab issue
    Off the clock = not working = not covered by WC. She lost the appeal.
  7. by   MUUGUZI
    Here is my situation r/t this topic. I work in a LTC. I work 3p-11p on the skilled in unit and am the only nurse on that hall. I almost never have time to take any type of break, because I have to take care of any and everything that comes up. If the complete shift goes off without a hitch, I get out at 1-1:30 am. If any incident occurs or something else comes up, I am there for usually another hour.

    If I take my 30 minute break, it only prolongs my shift by thirty extra minutes. So I skip it. The nurses are supposed to fill out a "time adjustment" sheet to explain why break wasn't taken if they want paid that thirty minutes.

    The problem is that if you write 3 or more of the time adjustment sheets in a three-month period, you receive a write-up. Three write-ups and you are out the door. (The last DON/DNS claimed each of the time adjustment sheets costs 35$ to process).
    So the nurse just don't fill out the time adjustment sheets. Effectively saving all kinds of $$ for the company Of course, we never hear about not filling out the time adjustment sheets. And as long as OT is somewhat under contril, the administration remains quiet.

    The whole situation sounds illegal.

    It fries my egg to think of all the money they save off of the nurses with their devilish ways! :angryfire
  8. by   elizabells
    Yup. We even have to fill out the justification for overtime sheets when the nursing supervisor calls us at home, on our day off, to ask us to come in because the floor is short.

    The other day the NM got an overtime slip for EVERY nurse on the floor (28-ish) because one of his stupid staff meetings went until 0745, meaning that not a single noc nurse got out the door until at least 0800.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    What is so wrong about this is that IF staffing were adequate nurses would not be doing so much overtime. That is why I am always ragging on LTC, the GREED of the owners causes us to try to do the job that two nurses used to do years ago. The audacity to actually discipline for trying to do your job properly. THAT is one of the many reasons LTC needs STRONG union presence ,no wimpy ineffectual union will do, we have had that in the past. This situation is only getting worse, but I wonder how much worse CAN it get?
  10. by   jack of trades!!
    Your situation sounds like many other nursing homes, do 1 or 2 things either buddy up with another nurse ( a friend) that can help you with some of your extra work on the floor, or leave. It is not the only place to work
  11. by   jack of trades!!
    Quote from jack of trades!!
    Your situation sounds like many other nursing homes, do 1 or 2 things either buddy up with another nurse ( a friend) that can help you with some of your extra work on the floor, or leave. It is not the only place to work
  12. by   Mulan
    Quote from janfrn
    In our unit it's common for breaks to be short, interrupted, or missed altogether. The only ones who get paid for missed breaks are the code team... two RNs and an RT. The rest of us may end up missing our breaks because of a code, but that doesn't count. We also put in a lot of extra time at the end of the shift because our reports are given face-to-face at the bedside on patients with multi-system problems, each of which must be given due attention. Although we usually have only one patient, when the oncoming nurse arrives at the bedside at 7:05 and report takes 20 or more minutes to complete to hospital standards, no accommodation is made for the fact that the clock stops at 7:15. When you have two patients, and are giving report to two different nurses, it could be 7:45 by the time you're done. And that doesn't even consider the late/early admission, the critically unstable patient who needs two nurses for a period of time and there's no extra staff coming on, the change-of-shift code (and they happen often enough!)... and on and on. When you fill out an OT slip, it might be weeks before it comes back to you "not approved" with a note attached... you didn't tell the manager/charge nurse in advance that you weren't going to get your break/your patient was going to destabilize/your relief was going to be late/you had two hours of charting from an event in the last hours of the shift... whatever. We are continually getting emails from management reminding us that breaks have to be completed by a defined time and that we're responsible for making sure we get them when we're supposed to. Nothing is ever said to the ones who are habitually late going for or coming back from theirs which makes me late for mine, or the fact that we can't be compelled to take our breaks in the first or last hours of the shift. I often find myself sitting in the break room when the next shift starts rolling in because it was the only way I was going to get a break at all. Makes me so mad!

    Until recently OT was such a bad word that we'd work dangerously short for days at a time. Then the professional responsibiblity complaints started piling up and now we have approval to call in OT to fill the gaps to staff us to 16 nurses per shift. If we can get people to come in... That kind of OT is different.
    Do you think that maybe you should take all those OT slips and emails
    to the Labor Board. I bet you'd get paid all that back pay PDQ.
  13. by   EmmaG
    Quote from MUUGUZI
    The nurses are supposed to fill out a "time adjustment" sheet to explain why break wasn't taken if they want paid that thirty minutes.

    The problem is that if you write 3 or more of the time adjustment sheets in a three-month period, you receive a write-up. Three write-ups and you are out the door. (The last DON/DNS claimed each of the time adjustment sheets costs 35$ to process).
    So the nurse just don't fill out the time adjustment sheets. Effectively saving all kinds of $$ for the company Of course, we never hear about not filling out the time adjustment sheets. And as long as OT is somewhat under contril, the administration remains quiet.

    The whole situation sounds illegal.

    It fries my egg to think of all the money they save off of the nurses with their devilish ways! :angryfire
    It quite possibly could be illegal; but as long as employees continue to work for free without complaint, they will continue to get away with it.

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