Extremely overworked

  1. Hello, I am currently a nurse in Florida. I have been having a hard time finding a policy that states how many hours it must be before I have to clock back into work

    for example... yesterday I was on call and worked 7am- 12:30am straight with no breaks. I was required to clock back into work at 7am. Is there a policy for Florida nurses stating how many hours a registered nurse must rest outside of work before clocking back in? Links, resources would be great!

    Any help with this I would appreciate tremendously
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   herring_RN
    Florida has no state hours worked regulations, but federal law must be followed.

    Unfortunately the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work.
    U.S. Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - Pandemic Flu and the Fair Labor Standards Act

    If the hours actually worked exceed 40 hours in a week you must be paid overtime. This may discourage your employer from requiring such call time.
    ... Federal law requires that non-exempt employees must receive time and one-half the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a 7-day workweek...
    Health Care Workers - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - U.S. Department of Labor
    Registered nurses who are paid on an hourly basis should receive overtime pay.
    https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17n_nurses.pdf
    I doubt the below exception is your situation:
    The Eight and Eighty (8 and 80) Overtime System
    Under section 7(j) of the FLSA, hospitals and residential care establishments may utilize a fixed work period of fourteen consecutive days in lieu of the 40 hour workweek for the purpose of computing overtime. To use this exception, an employer must have a prior agreement or understanding with affected employees before the work is performed. This eight and eighty (8 and 80) exception allows employers to pay time and one-half the regular rate for all hours worked over eight in any workday and eighty hours in the fourteen-day period. See Regulations 29 CFR 778.601.
    An employer can use both the standard 40 hour overtime system and the 8 and 80 overtime system for different
    employees in the same workplace, but they cannot use both for a single individual employee.
    An employer’s work period under the 8 and 80 overtime system must be a fixed and regularly recurring 14-day
    period. It may be changed if the change is designated to be permanent and not to evade the overtime requirements. If an employer changes the pay period permanently, it must calculate wages on both the old pay period and the new pay period and pay the amount that is more advantageous to each employee in the pay period when the change was made.
    https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs54.pdf
  4. by   herring_RN
    Nurse fatigue can lead to accidents and errors.
    Look up some of these position statements and research studies:
    nurse fatigue - Google Search

    I would say to the person attempting to mandate such unsafe hours of work, "I cannot work without sufficient sleep and rest. To do so would jeopardize the health and safety of my patients. If forced to do so I will, to the best of my ability, attempt to provide excellent care to my assigned patients."
    If forced to do so I would put it in writing with the date, time, and the managers and supervisors who were informed of this. Make copies and give one to each person. Keep the original.
    Maybe that will help them rethink scheduling unsafe hours.

    I'm very sorry your employer puts the health of patients and staff at risk.
  5. by   suzil
    Quote from itsamanda91
    Hello, I am currently a nurse in Florida. I have been having a hard time finding a policy that states how many hours it must be before I have to clock back into work

    for example... yesterday I was on call and worked 7am- 12:30am straight with no breaks. I was required to clock back into work at 7am. Is there a policy for Florida nurses stating how many hours a registered nurse must rest outside of work before clocking back in? Links, resources would be great!

    Any help with this I would appreciate tremendously
    I feel for you. Unfortunately you work in one of the worst with the Right to Work States Laws. This strongly protects the Employers in the state. It is virtually impossible for an employee to get any rights. I am from Arizona and we are similar to your state.
    I assume you work in a "call" position like surgery or PACU? I know I worked in a PACU position and it nearly killed me. I could not believe how many hours I would have to work with so little sleep. I had no support in my hospital or the state. I hate to find a new job. Good luck!

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