Mandatory OT in PA, legal?

  1. From what I understand, mandatory OT in PA is now illegal, unless there are emergencies, like snow storms, floods, natural disasters, etc.

    I don't want to give away the facility, but what about when a nurse calls in sick. There are normally 2 RN's on the unit. Say one calls off for the next shift. This certain facility is still mandating a nurse to stay over. They do call other staff to see if someone wants to work. Many times, no one can be found to pick up extra time on overnights. So the evening shift gets stuck. I was under the impression that agency was to be called. The supervisor will not allow this if the agency worker has not been oriented to the unit. No agency worker has ever stepped foot on the unit, so how would this orientation occur? What can be done about this without losing ones job? To whom and how can this be reported?
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    About GooeyRN

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 1,734; Likes: 755
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC


  3. by   CoffeeRTC
    Great question! You don't state what type of facility this is and I'm not sure it matters in the legal sense. If this is a LTC..isn't there a supervisor or the DON etc that would be made to come it (If they are choosing not to staff with agency)?
    As far as agency..we don't use it unless it is the absolute end of trying to find someone and the DON can't do it and we are desparate. When it gets to this point and we are given the go ahead to call agency...GOOD LUCK. Alot of times they don't have anyone to send (we call a few that we have contracts for) understanding...if it is a frequent occurance and the facility has no back up plan and have made no attempts then is illegal.
  4. by   GooeyRN
    NOT LTC... A small hospital. There is no back up plan in place other than calling all of the staff to see if they want to come in, and there is no policy that someone has to be on call for such things. So if everyone says no to coming in on their day off, whoever is working that shift gets mandated.
  5. by   marshmallowstar
    Department of Labor and Industry oversees Act 102
    information can be found at
    or google "Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act"

    Here is an answer from the FAQ...

    Is overtime allowed for an "unforeseen emergent circumstance" and when does this occur?

    Answer: Act 102 allows mandatory overtime for an unforeseeable emergent circumstance which is any of the following:
    An unforeseeable declared national, state or municipal emergency.
    A highly unusual or extraordinary event which is unpredictable or unavoidable and which substantially affects the provision of needed health care services or increases the need for health care services. These events include: an act of terrorism; a natural disaster; and, a widespread disease outbreak.
    Unexpected absences, discovered at or before the commencement of a scheduled shift, which could not be prudently planned for by an employer, and which could significantly affect patient safety. Except as provided in this definition, no time period is set for when the call in must occur and the Bureau will review each case individually.
    Vacancies arising from chronic short staffing are not an unforeseeable emergent circumstance.

    The link has the complaint form and contact info for the regional offices. You could call and discuss your situation.
  6. by   Tish88
    It seems that they are following the Act 102, if they are trying to bring in another worker to cover the call off, they made an effort. At the point when they can not get coverage, the facility can mandate overtime.

    One thing to remember, if the staff refuses to stay and leaves, they can be reported to the state for patient abandonment and the nurse could loss their license.

    There are other stipulations the facility must follow regarding time off after the mandated over time for the employee.

    Here is the link for the entire Law: