Not Getting Paid Overtime. Is This Illegal?

Posted

Has 2 years experience.

Hello, 

I am a new grad living in California who just got her first job at an LTACH. I work three 12 hr shifts a week. From my understanding, anything over 8hrs in a workday is OT pay. When I did my orientation I signed a paper agreeing to a pay rate of 42 hourly and OT pay rate of 63 hourly. On my paystub, all hrs worked are at the 42 hour rate. I talked to a couple of other employees and they say they never get OT pay. My understanding is the only way for an employer to get around OT pay for nurses is to hold a vote with all affected employees and for said nurses to agree to waive OT pay. I never voted on that or heard of such a vote occurring at my work place. Is this illegal? Should I contact the labor board? 

Okami_CCRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

Overtime pay in healthcare facilities is anything over 40 hours/week. Not 8 hours/day.

I have been working in various positions within healthcare for 17 years and it has always been this way. 

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

If the scheduled shift is 12 hours it typically does NOT qualify for overtime pay. Typically overtime is for more than 40 hours in 1 week.  So places have a differential for swing or night shift which may kick in for the last 4 hours of a 12 hour day shift and add a bit, but this isn't the same as overtime pay. 

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

2 hours ago, AnaBanana.RN said:

Hello, 

I am a new grad living in California who just got her first job at an LTACH. I work three 12 hr shifts a week. From my understanding, anything over 8hrs in a workday is OT pay. When I did my orientation I signed a paper agreeing to a pay rate of 42 hourly and OT pay rate of 63 hourly. On my paystub, all hrs worked are at the 42 hour rate. I talked to a couple of other employees and they say they never get OT pay. My understanding is the only way for an employer to get around OT pay for nurses is to hold a vote with all affected employees and for said nurses to agree to waive OT pay. I never voted on that or heard of such a vote occurring at my work place. Is this illegal? Should I contact the labor board? 

Yes, it's legal. In all likelihood, the vote was held long before your arrival. Think about it- are they going to completely overhaul the payroll system every time a new employee gets hired? Of course not. That would be chaotic, maybe impossible, even for the smallest of facilities.

We do get double-time for anything over twelve hours in one day. If there are exemptions to that, I am not yet aware of them.

If it helps, employers who are not exempt and do pay overtime after eight hours adjust their wages accordingly. It comes out to roughly the same amount in the end.

 

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

18 minutes ago, verene said:

If the scheduled shift is 12 hours it typically does NOT qualify for overtime pay. Typically overtime is for more than 40 hours in 1 week.  So places have a differential for swing or night shift which may kick in for the last 4 hours of a 12 hour day shift and add a bit, but this isn't the same as overtime pay. 

California is an odd place with odd laws. My first job here actually did pay time and a half for anything over eight hours in one day- even if I only worked one day that week. Double-time after twelve hours is also the law. It doesn't matter if you only work one twelve hour shift for the entire year.

 

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

As others have mentioned, you could check with HR but your 12 hours position is likely not included in overtime after 8 hours. That would be very cost inefficient for them to hire nurses for a shift that would include four hours overtime every shift. At my hospital (not in CA), anyone hired into 12 hour positions signs an exemption form acknowledging that they will not receive overtime after 8 hours. Sorry for your disappointment, if it makes you feel any better I've got eight years of experience and I only make $34/hr. (although I readily admit my cost of living is probably less on the east coast than yours in CA) 

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Check with you state labor board. Here in Michigan, overtime starts after 40 hours/ week.

You work 3 12s and is being paid your contracted hourly rate. No, it's not illegal. 3 12s are pretty much standard in nursing. I'm not understanding the conflict.

0.9%NormalSarah, ADN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 2 years experience.

In CA it’s an alternative workweek and most healthcare agencies where people work 10s or 12s use this. I worked at one company that didn’t, they paid overtime after 8 hours, but as @Sour Lemon mentioned, they adjusted the wage to break even, so my hourly rate was a lot less. I think it had something to do with operating nationally, so I always assumed they had clinics in states where the alternative workweek wasn’t an option and it probably cut down their admin costs to just pay everyone the same way across the board.

One CA employer told me the election for the alternative work week was held 23 years prior. Another held an election while I was there and then did not disclose the “results” until I point blank asked them. Of course the alternative work week hourly pay system was  “voted” in by my coworkers. Did I think I was told the truth? No. 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

I can't imagine that any employer would post positions (12 hr shifts) that automatically had OT built in. (Baylor programs aside.)

I don't think I ever worked a job - including non nursing type of jobs (clerical, retail, etc) in different states (Calif, NV, TX, OK, Hawaii) where if you worked over 8 hours in a day it was considered OT.  It has always been if you have worked over 40 hours in a week.  

One agency I worked for as a nurse would be desperate every now and then and bribe us to come into work on our days off with a promise of the time worked for that day be paid at "time and a half".  

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