OT: and not getting paid?

  1. I have 2 friends who are new-ish (1.5 years) RNs. Both say that they usually are not paid OT b/c they need to get a supervisor's permission first, and fill out forms, and in the end it becomes more cumbersome than it is worth. So....they wind up working an extra couple of hours every shift b/c the work has to get done and they don't have the time to go through the chain of command to get OT approved.

    I think this is bullocks! The problem is the system, not the nurses. If they insisted on getting paid OT and going through the proper channels then maybe management would enforce a more efficient system. I feel like they should respect their own time and get paid for their hard work. I think it's demeaning to them that if they are paid hourly, they give away a couple of hours every day.

    Is this common? How do you handle getting authorized for OT at your job?
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   cardsRN
    ot without pay? not a chance. when was the last time my hospital sacrificed anything for me? will they just understand if i am late or need to make an appointment and leave early? nope. that time will never come back to you and no one will remember that you did it either. it is just gone. do your job well and leave on time. every great once in a while you may have to stay overtime, and get paid for it. but this should be the exception, not the rule. if OT is a regular occurance, perhaps there are some systems problems that should be addressed. is oncoming shift consistently late? is report taking too long? maybe report sheets could streamline the process. are end of shift admissions and division of labor between shifts the issue?
  4. by   NO1_2NV
    I have always wondered about this...if you work OT and are not on the clock so to speak but you are injured on the job while working OT off the clock then I believe you are not able to claim this as an "on the job injury". Gosh, just a simple needle stick could be catastrophic and none of it would be covered.

    Does anyone have any information on this? Something certainly to think about.
  5. by   vamedic4
    Quote from nynurse2be
    I have 2 friends who are new-ish (1.5 years) RNs. Both say that they usually are not paid OT b/c they need to get a supervisor's permission first, and fill out forms, and in the end it becomes more cumbersome than it is worth. So....they wind up working an extra couple of hours every shift b/c the work has to get done and they don't have the time to go through the chain of command to get OT approved.

    I think this is bullocks! The problem is the system, not the nurses. If they insisted on getting paid OT and going through the proper channels then maybe management would enforce a more efficient system. I feel like they should respect their own time and get paid for their hard work. I think it's demeaning to them that if they are paid hourly, they give away a couple of hours every day.

    Is this common? How do you handle getting authorized for OT at your job?
    Sounds like your friends don't think too much of themselves. What I mean is, I guess they just don't think their time is worth much. ME? I think they've worked long and hard to become nurses and they absolutely deserve to be paid for every minute they put into taking care of patients. I'm pretty sure the state feels the same way...see if you can do some research about the legality of this employer's actions. Something sounds fishy to me.

    Here at my employer, an RN gets OT for anything over 80 hours in a pay period. There is no "authorization" to speak of, if you need to stay, you're paid...if you clock out..you don't get paid. Cut and dried.

    I'm so sorry your coworkers are getting the shaft. Perhaps you can find out some info and help them out.
    Good luck

    vamedic4 :spin:
  6. by   Katnip
    Quote from NO1_2NV
    I have always wondered about this...if you work OT and are not on the clock so to speak but you are injured on the job while working OT off the clock then I believe you are not able to claim this as an "on the job injury". Gosh, just a simple needle stick could be catastrophic and none of it would be covered.

    Does anyone have any information on this? Something certainly to think about.
    It may vary from state to state but when I worked in an insurance company that covered workman's comp, you did not have to be on the clock to collect for an injury on the company property. Even if you fell in the parking lot, you would be covered.

    It's something you might want to look into though.
  7. by   mamason
    I don't believe that I could let myself be taken advantage of that way. If they don't want to pay me, then, I'd be looking for a new job. But, that's just me. As VAMEDIC4 said, something's fishy with this situation.
  8. by   classicdame
    Rubbish. The fact that paperwork exists is not the nurse's fault and I would complete it on the clock. Sounds like they are discouraging OT. As long as people are willing to donate time I am sure the employer will let them. However, as soon as the Labor Dept gets wind of it changes in the system WILL be made.
  9. by   charlabsn06
    This always happens to my sister, a not so new nurse anymore (4 yrs as RN, 2 of them in CCU; plus 4 yrs before that as LVN). She works for a rather large HMO (who shall remain nameless, but let's just say they encourage us all to "thrive"), run by doctors. She is regularly late to pick up her daughter, is completely zonked after an 8 hr. shift, and is very close to burn-out. She has had days where she will leave at 5:30, go pick up her daughter and go BACK to work to finish charting or whatever, finally going home for good at 7:30-8:00. She is supposed to be off at 4:30!! She has regular problems with the change of shift staff not being available for report on time, or the inevitable last minute admit (15 min) before shift change. I keep telling her she needs to let them know this is not acceptable. If they are resistant to talking, she needs to let them know on her timecard. They also have the policy that requires manager approval for OT. And though they have 4 managers on her unit alone, none are readily availabe for these situations. I say hit 'em in the wallet if they are not listening to the staff complaints!!
  10. by   ICRN2008
    I heard of someone who was fired for working overtime without pay. In this case, she was being too chatty during her shift, so she never finished her work on time. She then clocked out and finished her work at the end of her shift so that her supervisor would not catch on. It wasn't the case of having too much work to do, it's just that she was not used to being accountable for her time. She was salary for many years and all of a sudden was put on hourly, and she had a hard time adjusting.

    I personally know some people at my former place of employment who abused overtime because they knew that the administrators would pay it. They purposely stalled during the evening, and then as it got later they finally started working. This is unethical IMO. However, I sincerely doubt that this is what occurs in the majority of circumstances.

    The case that the OP is referring to is entirely different. It smacks of the administration taking advantage of new RNs because they don't know how to stand up for themselves.

    Heaven forbid something happen to them (or a patient) after they've clocked out. The institution would be in a whole heap of legal trouble then!

    If I am being given too much work, I speak up. Overtime is a natural consequence of having too much work to do. If I do have to stay overtime, I document why this occurred or let my supervisor know. This way, I don't have any problems justifying my actions at a later date when the time sheets are audited.
  11. by   Huscarl73
    Only paperwork I would fill out would be down at the courthouse for all the back time I didn't get paid. If the hospitol has a problem with that they need to take it up with congress.
  12. by   RNsRWe
    Hospitals in this area are so short-staffed for RNs that the very notion of NOT paying them OT (that they've rightly worked) is laughable.

    What IS done to limit OT is the hospital policy of not allowing anyone to clock in more than five minutes prior to a shift beginning, so that by clocking in say ten minutes early each day you don't end up with an hour of "unauthorized" overtime. Most people don't follow that, either, but then again, we're so short that if they paid an extra hour over the course of a week, who the heck in administration is going to annoy the nurse with it?

    Overtime happens, and the more short-staffed, the more it happens. If I have eight or ten patients on my acute unit and it takes me two hours after my shift ends to complete paperwork, there's not even a squeak. Otherwise, they'd be even shorter-staffed
  13. by   RNinSoCal
    In my first med/surg job there was a lot of pressure to avoid overtime. One day I clocked out then sat down to finish my paper charting. One of my male co-workers looked at me and said "slave". That was the last time I worked in any hospital for free!!!! Luckily my current manager never bothers us about OT. BUT I have to say OT is not a 2 hour a day thing where I work. I frequently get out on time because of the team atmosphere here.
  14. by   BBFRN
    Your employer is not required by law to pay you overtime- per the Dept. of Labor, we as nurses are actually exempt from the OT pay requirement.

    "Registered nurses who are paid on an hourly basis should receive overtime pay. However, registered nurses who are registered by the appropriate State examining board generally meet the duties requirements for the learned professional exemption, and if paid on a salary basis of at least $455 per week, may be classified as exempt.
    Licensed practical nurses and other similar health care employees, however, generally do not qualify as exempt learned professionals, regardless of work experience and training, because possession of a specialized advanced academic degree is not a standard prerequisite for entry into such occupations, and are entitled to overtime pay."

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...17n_nurses.htm
    Last edit by BBFRN on Jan 12, '07

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