Mandatory extra shift two days in advance


Okay I have a question, and advice would be greatly appreciated. My Director (who is an idiot, she apprently is a Director because she can't work the floor) tried to implement a mandatory work day. Let me explain. Our schedule has been out for three weeks. approved for five weeks. And we staff 3 RNs pretty much every night. Unless there is a request off. Our minimum staffing is 2 RNs. There is only one night on the schedule with 2 RNs due to a request off. And most of the time on the weekends the 3rd RN gets called off anyway. Well, my Director proceeds to call and inform the week night staff that someone has to pick up the day with 2 RNs, or she will pick a person and make them work it. Now this is a Wednesday morning she is telling us this, the day she wants us to pick up is Saturday night. 3 nights in advance?? And she said there is a policy stating she can do this, but cannot somehow name the policy. (and I can't find it either) But I guess my question is... Can they make you come to work within three days of the shift needed? And it will be overtime for whoever gets stuck working it. And too bad everyone has made plans because it's a holiday weekend. Which means we would have to call and get an occurrence. Which is not fair to us, seeing as how schedule been out and we already made plans. Any advice would be appreciated!!! TY!


503 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health. Has 20 years experience.

My understanding is that in most facilities the schedule is understood to be conditional on the needs of the facility. Does your facility have a history of last minute call offs on holiday weekends? If so, she may be trying to be proactive by having a third person scheduled. Fair? Probably not, but the first thing my mom taught us was that life is not fair.


827 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

Whether they can make you or not depends on a combination of your facility's policies and your state's labor laws. So, if it were me, I would ask to see a copy in writing of the facility's policy saying that the Director can do this, and I would also make a call to my state's labor board.

Good luck!

Edited to add: If your facility has a union, the union contract may also specify whether or not mandatory overtime is allowed. If you have a union, contact your union rep too.

realnursealso/LPN, LPN

2 Articles; 783 Posts

Specializes in Peds Homecare. Has 34 years experience.

I would make her show me in the policy book where it says she can randomly assign you an extra shift. If she cannot provide me with this, and she persists, I would go up the chain of command. Good luck.


377 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I agree, I would contact your Union Rep or HR person to verify the validity of the policy.

I had a supervisor cancel my paid time off on a days notice and refuse to provide coverage for my department if i did not come in. The PTO was to take my A&P final which i had requested off three months before. Her explanation is that the company did not grant PTO for education purposes and any future requests would be denied as well if she found out it was for school. I emailed HR about this new "Policy". they said her actions were absolutely not representative of the company and they suport me furthering my education. Heck, They pay my tuition! She was reprimanded by the manager above her as well as HR.

Long story short, I got a call from the supervisor the next day appologising profusely and a note of appology from the manager above her. Your supervisor sounds like she just expects no one to challenge her. It sounds like she needs it though.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

i don't know whether she can do it or not -- ask to see the policy. if you have a union, the union rep may be able to go to bat for you.

one more reason why unions are necessary!

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

Director = Idiot. Par for the course.

Mystery policies = Just the usual. Most places I've worked have policies to cover pretty much everything, then they add a policy stating they can change any policy antime they want. That's the norm.

Mandatory extra shift etc = common.

BUT 3 days notice allowing the staff to find a volunteer to do the shift = That's a pretty good deal, really. Whenever someone gives you power, take it! The whole thing sucks, something similar happens pretty much everywhere, but giving the staff the power to choose isn't that common. Use the power and it'll become a precedent you might need in the future. That's my best observations and suggestion. Don't let it bum you out too much, I think it's just a nursing thing. Best wishes, hope it's a quiet weekend! Maybe the docs will discharge a lot so they can leave town and the 3rd person gets called off!