Nurse Practitioner Overtime Pay

  1. Hey all ! First time posting on this forum and I am hoping someone out there has some knowledge in overtime pay and FLSA!

    Here is a brief summary of my situation:

    Currently my employer requires me and my fellow NPs / PAs to work 1 weekend a month and to prevent us from working over the required 80 hours / pay period we get 2 days off the week following the weekend we worked so that our over all hours do not increase. Not too bad.

    Now, however, because they plan to expand clinic hours and brought on another physician they feel as though having us off during the week is not beneficial. Therefore, we will now be forced to work 12 days in a row (Monday -Friday, the weekend, Monday - friday), which will amount to over 100 hours in a pay period. Not okay.

    I have done some of my own research on labor laws, however, as someone who is treating patients it doesn't seem safe or right to be in that many hours. I found a court case in 2005,which basically stated that "it was determined that nurse practitioners do not fall under the FLSAs "professional exemption" and therefore NPs are entitled to overtime pay. In the Belt v. EmCare, Inc. case the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Nurse Practitioners were entitled to overtime pay because they were not licensed to practice medicine and had to be paid a salary to be held exempt from receiving overtime pay. In addition, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that physician assistants were entitled to overtime pay wages (1.5 times the hourly wage) for working in excess of 40 hours per week.

    So basically, my question is, can they force overtime pay upon me and my coworkers like this and if so, what type of compensation should i be asking for ?
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  2. Visit JRay813 profile page

    About JRay813

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 6
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    23 Comments

  3. by   bugya90
    I'm not a provider. When I worked in a clinic the physicians had a rotating schedule for the weekend urgent care clinic hours. When it was there weekend they would end up working 13 days in a row (regular clinic hours were Monday-Friday). They weren't paid overtime by the we're paid extra, they described it as having a part time job. It was a separate paycheck because the urgent care clinic pay came from a different budget than the regular clinic. With the amount of physicians in the schedule they only had to do it about every 2 months. Not sure if that helps you at all.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Wouldn't this vary by state? The overtime laws in my current state are different than the ones in my home state. It took some getting used to.
  5. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Wouldn't this vary by state? The overtime laws in my current state are different than the ones in my home state. It took some getting used to.
    There are both Federal and State specific laws. The ones that apply to each situation are generally the ones that protect the employee more.

    OP, are you paid hourly or salary? It's not clear to me based on your post.
  6. by   JRay813
    Sorry for further clarification, I live in the state of Florida, which from what i read follows the same laws as federal labor laws. Also I am a salaried employee right now
  7. by   Oldmahubbard
    Laws may vary from state to state.

    I worked for a state agency for many years as an NP. When I was offered "extra service", it was at my regular hourly rate.

    This agency was very anal about labor laws, so if they were required to pay overtime, I would have gotten it.

    That being said, when I was offered extra service, I politely declined it, saying it was not worth my while financially.

    It sounds like you don't have that choice.

    If you otherwise like your position, and are fairly compensated, you should just accept the fact that it is very unlikely you will get overtime.

    My opinion only.

    If you don't really like your position, you might look for another job.

    If I am wrong, I would like to hear about any NPs getting overtime, ie time and a half for more than 40 hours.
  8. by   Jules A
    I would imagine the can dictate whatever they want and it is a matter of if employees accept it. Its not unusual for physicians who have weekend call duties to cover 14 days in a row so not necessarily unsafe although perhaps unacceptable to you.
  9. by   DizzyJon
    I agree, your employer can make you do that. It sucks, but not illegal. You should certainly get extra pay for this. You are salary and not entitled to overtime pay, but these are now additional shifts worked and you should negotiate an hourly or day rate that comes with a differential for the shifts being on the weekend and working 12 days in a row.
  10. by   Oldmahubbard
    Extra pay, definitely, but probably not overtime.

    And no, it is not unsafe.
  11. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah Ultimately its up to you if you accept these terms and conditions. Honestly, this is why I would never agree to any salaried position in nursing. Fortunately where I work our hours are set and we are hourly employees with the option of simply turning down extra shifts. If it was me there is no way I'd accept a change in the terms of my employment without a serious discussion of the additional compensation that would follow the additional hours / responsibilities
  12. by   core0
    Quote from JRay813
    Hey all ! First time posting on this forum and I am hoping someone out there has some knowledge in overtime pay and FLSA!

    Here is a brief summary of my situation:

    Currently my employer requires me and my fellow NPs / PAs to work 1 weekend a month and to prevent us from working over the required 80 hours / pay period we get 2 days off the week following the weekend we worked so that our over all hours do not increase. Not too bad.

    Now, however, because they plan to expand clinic hours and brought on another physician they feel as though having us off during the week is not beneficial. Therefore, we will now be forced to work 12 days in a row (Monday -Friday, the weekend, Monday - friday), which will amount to over 100 hours in a pay period. Not okay.

    I have done some of my own research on labor laws, however, as someone who is treating patients it doesn't seem safe or right to be in that many hours. I found a court case in 2005,which basically stated that "it was determined that nurse practitioners do not fall under the FLSAs "professional exemption" and therefore NPs are entitled to overtime pay. In the Belt v. EmCare, Inc. case the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Nurse Practitioners were entitled to overtime pay because they were not licensed to practice medicine and had to be paid a salary to be held exempt from receiving overtime pay. In addition, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that physician assistants were entitled to overtime pay wages (1.5 times the hourly wage) for working in excess of 40 hours per week.

    So basically, my question is, can they force overtime pay upon me and my coworkers like this and if so, what type of compensation should i be asking for ?
    A couple of issues. If you are relying on the case you cited it would only work if they are treating you as a hourly employee. Essentially there are two classes and two types of employee. Hourly and salaried as well as exempt and non exempt. So you can be hourly exempt or salaried non exempt for example. In the first case they would not have to pay you overtime in the second, despite being salaried they would have to pay you overtime. In the EMCARE case they were paid hourly and treated in a way that made them non-exempt. This is why most organizations avoid hourly exempt employees. Its too easy to make them non exempt.
    Here is a better analysis:
    Paying Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants Hourly? - Garlo Ward, P.C.

    Further more since this was done in 2005 its likely that most NPs will move into the highly compensated individual exemption:
    https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17h_highly_comp.pdf

    The real issue is that they are asking you to increase your work. Presumably they are also increasing your compensation. You have to decide if its worth it to you. For me there is almost no amount of compensation where I would work 12 days every two weeks. The real issue is that they need to hire more APPs and are trying to cheap out. One of two things will happen. People will accept or they won't. If they don't accept then the practice has a hard choice. If they are smart they understand that providers leaving has a huge cost (probably on the order of $100k or more). This would rapidly blow through any saving they make through not hiring another provider. On the other hand small practices rarely have professional business managers so they won't realize the cost until they see the hit on the bottom line a year later.

    I agree with other posters time to update the resume. Another approach is to advocate for a change to 4-10 (4 10 hour shifts per week). This is my favorite outpatient schedule. You can posit as increased hours for patients with more days off for you. It also makes the schedule more manageable for weekend coverage and builds in days off.
  13. by   maxthecat
    Might be worth it run by a lawyer experienced in labor laws.
  14. by   JRay813
    I did put out some feelers on the matter ! Also reached out to the state board to see if they had any knowledge on the matter as well! Hoping to hear something !

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