Ban on mandatory OT for nurses becomes Pa. law 7/1/09

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    With few exceptions, measure protects workers from being disciplined for refusing to work OT.


    A state law prohibiting hospitals and health care facilities from requiring nurses to work beyond their scheduled shifts goes into effect today.



    The ban on mandatory overtime had taken seven years to enact, said Sue Tonkin, a registered nurse in Mercy Hospice, Scranton.

    For the full story, please see: http://www.timesleader.com/news/Ban_...7-01-2009.html
    CityKat, classykaren, and lindarn like this.
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

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    My wife is an LPN at Geisinger Danville, PA. It was explained to her by the powers that be, about a week ago, that you may be mandated due to call offs, but not for not having enough nurses to meeting core hours in the original schedule or higher than expected patient load.

    Oddly enough, Geisinger, or at least on my wife's unit, has taken away OT bonuses in proportion to every 4 hour block not actually worked of regular time. i.e. If you get the 4th of July off as part of your rotating holiday off schedule, you will not get a bonus for the first 8 hours of OT in that pay period. Something has got to give in that policy if they are going to meet all the open needs on every core schedule, since a nurse that has no motive to work over his/her 80 will not see any benefit in taking overtime, since they run the risk of losing the bonus if they go on vacation, have a paid holiday off, or get sick during that pay period.

    So while this law is not as comprehensive as the nurses at Geisinger may like it, the hand of the corporation may be forced to bring back rewards they have rescinded. On my wife's floor they brought back the core agreement, after a year or so hiatus, that gives a bonus for working 32+ hours of overtime per 4 week period on top of the 4 hour block bonus of overtime. That would indicate to me the hospital knows they are in somewhat of a bind with this new law.
  5. 3
    It appears like business as usual in my facility. It doesn't look like there is any plan to address the new law. I believe management plans to ignore the new law as far as staff allows them to.
    dhinson45, classykaren, and lindarn like this.
  6. 4
    pa state dept of labor info:

    [color=#29adad]act 102 prohibition of excessive overtime in health care act
    [color=#29adad]additional resources

    act 102 (complete version)
    act 102 faq
    pdf version of act 102 power point presentation
    pdf version of act 102 complaint form
    [color=#29adad]act summary

    act 102 prohibits a health care facility from requiring employees to work more than agreed to, predetermined and regularly scheduled work shifts. employees covered under act 102 are individuals involved in direct patient care or clinical care services who receive an hourly wage or who are classified as nonsupervisory employees for collective bargaining purposes.

    act 102 will not prevent an employee from working more than an 8-hour shift if the this shift is agreed to and regularly scheduled. it does not prohibit overtime for on-call time, if certain unforeseeable emergent circumstances occur (e.g. unforeseeable national or state emergencies; highly unusual or extraordinary event affecting the need for health care services; and unexpected absences discovered at or before the commencement of a scheduled shift which could not be prudently planned for by a health care facility and which could significantly affect patient safety) where the employer provides notice, the facility exhausts reasonable efforts under act 102 and the additional hours are a last resort, mandatory overtime is also allowed if an employee must complete a patient care procedure already in progress at the end of regularly-scheduled shift. act 102 does not prevent an employer from providing employees more protection from mandatory overtime than the minimum established under this act.

    on call time may not be utilized as a substitute for mandatory overtime or as a means of circumventing this law. vacancies resulting from chronic short staffing do not constitute an unforeseeable emergent circumstance allowing the use of mandatory overtime.

    employees may also agree to work any overtime. however, an employer may not retaliate against an employee who refuses to work overtime. an employee required to work more than 12 consecutive hours under the act's exceptions or who volunteer to work more than 12 consecutive hours may receive 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately following the worked overtime. an employee may waive this off-duty time, however.

    commencing july 1, 2009, the pennsylvania department of labor and industry's bureau of labor law compliance will enforce act 102 and may impose administrative fines and corrective orders, following hearing, for any health care facility that violates this law. the bureau of labor law compliance will also promulgate regulations to implement act 102.

    a health care facility defined under section 2 of act 102 is governed by the act 102's provisions:
    "health care facility." a facility which provides clinically related health services, regardless of whether the operation is for profit or nonprofit and regardless of whether operation is by the private sector or by state or local government.

    (1) the term includes all of the following:

    (i) a general or special hospital, a psychiatric hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a hospice, an ambulatory surgical facility, a long-term care nursing facility, a cancer treatment center using radiation therapy on an ambulatory basis and an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility.

    (ii) a facility which provides clinically related health services and which is operated by the department of corrections, the department of health, the department of military and veterans affairs or the department of public welfare.

    (iii) a mental retardation facility operated by the department of public welfare.
    an employee includes all of the following:
    1. an individual employed by a health care facility, the commonwealth of pennsylvania or one of its instrumentalities, or a political subdivision (such as a county, municipality, school district, local government).
    2. who is involved in direct patient care activities or clinical care services.
    3. who receives an hourly wage or is classified as a nonsupervisory employee for collective bargaining purposes.
    an employee also includes an individual employed through a personnel agency that contracts with a health care facility to provide personnel. an individual is involved in clinical care services if the individual is involved in diagnostic imaging, treatment or rehabilitative services provided in a health care facility including the following: radiology, and diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging and postitron emission tomography; radiation therapy; and laboratory medical services.

    act 102 does not govern a physician, physician assistant and dentist. act 102 also does not cover workers involved in environmental services, clerical, maintenance, food service or other job classification not involved in direct patient care and clinical care services. individuals must also work for a health care facility and meet the act's definition of an employee.

    complaint forms and information about act 102 are available on the labor & industry website: www.dli.state.pa.us. information and forms are also available at any of the bureau's regional offices:
    altoona regional office:
    1130 twelfth avenue, suite 200
    altoona, pa 16601-3486
    telephone: 1-877-792-3486 or 814-940-6225

    harrisburg regional office:
    1301 l&i building
    651 boas street
    harrisburg, pa 17121
    telephone: 717-787-4671 or 1-800-932-0665

    philadelphia regional office:
    110 north 8th street, suite 203
    philadelphia, pa 19130-4064
    telephone: 215-560-1858

    pittsburgh regional office:
    1201 state office building
    300 liberty avenue
    pittsburgh, pa 15222-1210
    telephone: 1-877-504-8354 or 412-565-5300

    scranton regional office:
    201-b state office building
    100 lackawanna avenue
    scranton, pa 18503-1923
    telephone: 570-963-4577 or 1-877-214-3962
    this is not a formal adjudication, decision or binding norm. this information may be revised through hearings, appeals, future enforcement or regulation. the bureau may also revise this document if it receives additional information.


    many nursing groups lobbyed hard to get this passed. currrent legislation is good starting point as as abuses become appparrant, can lobby again for strengthened legislation.
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    So....how do you think this will play out in LTCs? I've worked in 200 beds on down to 50 bed facilities where they had a bunch of staff and then just a few staff members. I've been stuck doing OT because there just wasn't anyone to come in (except the DON or ADONs) and have had agency nurses call off. In fact, for the most part...that was the case...the agency nurse called off and no way to find a replacemnt. This in not an exeption, but seems to be the norm.
    So...Im just saying...I'd love to see this law work.
    dhinson45 likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    Many nursing groups lobbyed hard to get this passed. Currrent legislation is good starting point as as abuses become appparrant, can lobby again for strengthened legislation.

    I understand and appreciate the hard work. But as a nurse and a PA taxpayer ... forgive me if I say that I'd much prefer that the Legislature got it right the first time around, rather than tossing out the legislative equivalent of mediocrity and scraps ... only to go through the process again on the taxpayer's dime.
  9. 2
    Quote from michelle126
    So....how do you think this will play out in LTCs? I've worked in 200 beds on down to 50 bed facilities where they had a bunch of staff and then just a few staff members. I've been stuck doing OT because there just wasn't anyone to come in (except the DON or ADONs) and have had agency nurses call off. In fact, for the most part...that was the case...the agency nurse called off and no way to find a replacemnt. This in not an exeption, but seems to be the norm.
    So...Im just saying...I'd love to see this law work.
    that agency nurse may have been a phantom all along...a name that management put in the slot to make it look good
    canoehead and dhinson45 like this.
  10. 3
    It is time for employers to crack down on sick time abusers. We have a nurse who started out as agency who called off at least one day a pay period. So what did they do? They hired her! They thought she would be more dedicated as a permanent employee. Same old story- leaving us short all the time. Finally they told her she could be PRN only because of her chronic absences. Not much help. She was still on the schedule and still calling off. She threatened to quit if they did not make her part-time with benefits. Now she is part-time. The calling off is down to once a month or so, but still very regular. Most facilities would not put up with that, but we need nurses so she stays. I am not talking about real health problems, I am talking about the abusers. Everyone knows one. I also see this as pushing employers to use agency nurses once again, which went out of vogue in this area. In fact the local agency that we used closed because no one was using the nurses. Employers found they could just force employees to stay over and over again. Overtime has been terribly abused in my area (Greater Pittsburgh). This is at least a start. Maybe those unfilled openings will actually get filled. We have had three people leave in the last two years and we are so horribly understaffed that it is dangerous. Now maybe employers will have to actually recruit!
    peridot2467, dhinson45, and classykaren like this.
  11. 2
    Last edit by oramar on Jul 6, '09
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  12. 0
    Oramar, that link is dead.


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