Responsible for 132 clients and Working during breaks - page 2

I have a question. Is there a cap or legal standard in Mississippi on how many clients RNs are responsible for working in an intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled (11p-7a)? And... Read More

  1. by   Nroh
    Quote from QuietIsntAWord
    "The American Nurse's Association's definition of patient abandonment is "a unilateral severance of the established nurse-patient relationship without giving reasonable notice to the appropriate person so that arrangements can be made for continuation of nursing care by others..."

    That's a tough one, considering you said there is no other nursing staff available, but technically (in my position at least) I'm still available if needed, I'm just not right there. And I do communicate to my staff that I'm going on break. I'm really not sure... can you ask your DON these questions?

    With that being said, if you don't feel comfortable with it then get out. Trust your gut.
    The DON is the one telling us this. The timekeeper as well...."it has to show that you clocked out for break whether you are still working or not bc if you don't you could sue us in a couple of years for not allowing you to clock out"...or "you have to clock out bc overtime is not approved"....I just want to know if it's legal for the sake of future nurses and the clients' well being. Thanks for your input.
  2. by   Nroh
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I don't know if its legal but it wouldn't be acceptable to me. You have a nursing license to protect and clearly the place you work could care less about that. Find a new place to be a nurse
    I am currently looking lol. Thanks.
  3. by   cleback
    I think it's legal to require you to remain available but if your break is interrupted for whatever reason, you legally need to be paid. That's how my organization is at least. Whether the workload is acceptable/safe for you is another matter.
  4. by   JKL33
    Quote from Nroh
    The DON is the one telling us this. The timekeeper as well...."it has to show that you clocked out for break whether you are still working or not bc if you don't you could sue us in a couple of years for not allowing you to clock out"...or "you have to clock out bc overtime is not approved"....I just want to know if it's legal for the sake of future nurses and the clients' well being. Thanks for your input.
    Not trying to beat a dead horse but that's crazy talk! "LOL" at the bolded portion - no, it doesn't "have to show that you clocked out for a break whether you are still working or not...." - the whole point of that is to require the break to be given; not the "opportunity to clock out."*

    For goodness' sake.

    *Any perceived sarcasm is for the person telling this to employees, not the OP.
  5. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from Nroh
    There are direct care staff (they aren't certified) and the one nurse if the other nurse is off. That's the thing. They want me to clock out for lunch. Technically I'm off of the clock. But I can't leave to get lunch, go to my car if I wanted to, etc. Kind of like I'm off the clock as far as the time keeping system goes so it won't look like they aren't giving me a break but I still have to be there working bc I'm the only nurse there bc there can't not (double negative) be a nurse on the floor. And of course if something was to happen, I would take care of my clients, even tho I'd be technically clocked out for lunch. I was just wondering if it was "legal".
    All you have to do is called your state employment office and ask. A similar situation happened to me a few years back and I got a print-out of the state regs and took them to my employer. In some states if you don't get a break they have to pay you 1.5 times your regular rate for that missed break.

    Hppy
  6. by   TriciaJ
    No, it is not legal to be required to clock out for your break and also be required to skip your break. And previous posters are right: If you happen to be clocked out when something bad happens, what then? Your employer will throw you under the bus, that's what. They are actually asking you to falsify your hours for their benefit and your detriment.

    I hope you find a new job soon. On your way out the door, please drop a dime to the labour board. I think your employer owes you a wad of back-overtime.
  7. by   Nroh
    Quote from cleback
    I think it's legal to require you to remain available but if your break is interrupted for whatever reason, you legally need to be paid. That's how my organization is at least. Whether the workload is acceptable/safe for you is another matter.
    DON said I will not get paid bc clocking in before my break would put me in OT and OT is not approved.
  8. by   Nroh
    Quote from TriciaJ
    No, it is not legal to be required to clock out for your break and also be required to skip your break. And previous posters are right: If you happen to be clocked out when something bad happens, what then? Your employer will throw you under the bus, that's what. They are actually asking you to falsify your hours for their benefit and your detriment.

    I hope you find a new job soon. On your way out the door, please drop a dime to the labour board. I think your employer owes you a wad of back-overtime.
    Thanks for the input!!!! I'm hoping I will find something soon!!
  9. by   Nroh
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    All you have to do is called your state employment office and ask. A similar situation happened to me a few years back and I got a print-out of the state regs and took them to my employer. In some states if you don't get a break they have to pay you 1.5 times your regular rate for that missed break.

    Hppy
    Thanks so much!!! I need to look into that while I'm looking for another job.
  10. by   YUKONrn
    Holy crap! And I just finished a rant about being responsible for 40 people! Oh hell no you couldn't pay me enough, no offense, but this profession just keeps getting worse and worse.
  11. by   brandy1017
    Quote from Nroh
    The DON is the one telling us this. The timekeeper as well...."it has to show that you clocked out for break whether you are still working or not bc if you don't you could sue us in a couple of years for not allowing you to clock out"...or "you have to clock out bc overtime is not approved"....I just want to know if it's legal for the sake of future nurses and the clients' well being. Thanks for your input.
    No it is not legal to force you to clock out so you don't get paid while still expecting to you to work. Yes there have been class action lawsuits and back pay at many hospitals across the country for coercing nurses to work thru lunch break without pay. Do not do this!
  12. by   brandy1017
    Quote from Nroh
    DON said I will not get paid bc clocking in before my break would put me in OT and OT is not approved.
    Frankly if you are the only nurse in the building and can't take a true break they are required to pay you OT! Again nurses are frequently coerced to work off the clock, both thru lunch breaks and unpaid overtime. Do not do it. Call the state dept of labor and tell them what you have told us. Maybe you'll even get some back pay!

    In the meantime get out ASAP!
  13. by   MinneNurse
    I am frequently pulled from my lunch break or don't get to take a full 30, so at the end of my shift I punch out no break (we don't punch in & out for our breaks). You are short staffed AND OT is not approved? Sounds like your facility is trying to be cheap and skimp out on staffing and you and the residents will pay the cost for that. Get out of there! Best of luck to you!

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