Maine-Act to Amend the States Overtime Law

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    Here's what is happening with mandatory overtime for nurses in Maine.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2001

    "Negotiators fine-tune bill to let nurses refuse overtime"

    AUGUSTA A bill to prevent hospitals from forcing nurses to work mandatory overtime has made it through the Legislature, but it was unclear Monday whether it will ever take effect.

    Supporters were hoping to find middle ground with Gov. Angus King, who is skeptical of the measure that was sent to him but has since been recalled from his desk. Negotiations between supporters and King are under way.

    The bill was passed amid a shortage of nurses at hospitals across the country, which has caused job actions and the formation of nurses' unions. Nurses have gone on strike in Youngstown, Ohio, and threatened to strike at several Minneapolis hospitals last week.

    Supporters of the bill say hospitals have been compensating for a shortage of nurses by scheduling them to work overtime regularly and penalizing those who refuse overtime. But King says the bill could prevent the adequate staffing of Maine hospitals. He also has reservations about the state's stepping in to make such rules.

    King has said the bill is too vague and has suggested that its backers add more specific guidelines on when nurses would be able to decline to work overtime.
    From the Press Herald www.portland.com
    CaronRN58
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    June 8, 2001
    The Maine overtime law was ammended today. The following is a summary of the amendment:

    SUMMARY: Exception for Nurse.

    This amendment replaces the bill. It provides that a nurse may not be disciplined for refusing to work more than 12 consecutive hours, unless an unforeseen emergent circumstance occurs and the overtime is required as a last resort to ensure patient safety. If overtime is required in such a circumstance, the nurse must be given at least 10 consecutive hours off duty immediately following the overtime. This provision does not apply in an emergency declared by the Governor, or when necessary to protect the public health or safety outside the normal course of business.
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    >unless an unforeseen emergent circumstance occurs and the overtime is required as a last resort to ensure patient safety.>

    Theres where they get you. But its a good first step! Congratulations on getting the law amended. We need the laws to define "an emergency"
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    >unless an unforeseen emergent circumstance occurs and the overtime is required as a last resort to ensure patient safety.>

    This was not part of the original bill. Had to be revised so that Govenor King would not veto it. It's that compromise thing that seems to be necessary in politics.
    CaronRN58


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