Hi all! I am facing a dilemma currently in my career and I need other professional nurses' advice!!
I am a pediatric nurse practitioner. I have been a nurse for 20 years now and a nurse practitioner for 7. I recently had a situation where I needed to change jobs unexpectedly. I started a job at an urgent care at the beginning of December. I am a hourly employee and make a decent wage. I have a contract with this organization.
Here is my problem. Recently, this job has told the providers that we have to do our charting off the clock. We have to be clocked out and out the door 10 minutes after the last patient leaves. Bear in mind, I am currently seeing 45 patients in a 9 hour shift and 60 in a 12 hour shift. They are telling us that we are exempt employees, even though we are hourly and not salaried, and we are not eligible for overtime. They have left me several times now without supplies or staff that I need in order to do my job (like no nurse at all to see 45 patients in 9 hours).
I had a private practice contact me about a position this last week. So far, it looks like it will be a really good change for me and my family. Salaried, allowing for charting time, good benefits. So, when I looked at my contract again for urgent care, I had misread a part of it and thought I needed to give 30 days notice...now it looks like I have to give 90 days notice. I am definitely not interested in staying with this company who I think sacrifices patient care for the almighty buck. However, I have never not given the required notice and have always been a professional and honor my contracts. I do not want to give up an opportunity like this new job appears to be. Jobs are a little more difficult to find in my market in pediatrics.
Any thoughts or advice are much appreciated!!
Do you work in at will state.....
If you do, the door swings both way
By virtue of the fact that you are hourly and not in one of the automatically exempt positions, your employer must pay you for the time you work, not the time you are scheduled to work. If you agree to a salary and have to stay up until midnight every day charting, that's on you. But you're hourly. Your employer doesn't get to just declare you exempt. They are in violation of federal Fair Labor Standards Act. In an at will state (unless of course it's outside the terms of your contract) they can let you go because you can't magically chart and see >5 patients an hour, but they must pay you for any time they could reasonably be expected to know you were performing labor beneficial to them.
My recommendation is that when you get the offer from your new position you talk with HR and let them know that in lieu of proceeding against them on the violation of the FLSA, you would be willing to be released from the 90 day provision of your contract. I bet they drop you like a hot rock.
They are clearly trying to get out of paying you for all of your time, and the 90-day notice period is a deliberate disincentive for anyone planning on leaving. Few employers are willing (or able) to wait out a 90-day notice of separation.
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