10/08 PA Legislation: Mandatory Overtime now law eff 7/1/09; Nursing Ratios stalled.

U.S.A. Pennsylvania


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

track pa legislation here: electronic billroom

house bill 834, senate bill tba imposing powers & duties on the department of labor & industry: would prohibit hospitals and other health facilities from requiring nurses to accept work in excess of their regularly scheduled work shift, or in excess of 80 hours in a two-week period. nurses would be permitted to accept overtime voluntarily, but could not be dismissed or punished for not accepting overtime.

hb 171 amends the health care facilities act, further providing for purposes & duties of the dept. of health, for admin & licensure; for public disclosure of staffing requirements; for license standards; & for medical assistance payments. sets specific patient-to-nurse staffing ratios based on the type of care needed in a particular hospital or care unit. ratios would range from 1:1 in emergency trauma room and or; 1:2 in critical care, pacu and l+d units; 1:3 ed; 1:4 med surg/ acute psych; 1:5 rehab, up to 1:6 in postpartum and well-baby nursery units.

solobay’s legislation includes grant programs to encourage more students in nursing education programs.


hb 834 bans mandatory overtime for nurses supported by pa state nurses association and nursing unions: pasnap and seiu healthcare/nurse alliance

passed in house by a vote of (166-31), now stalled in the pa senate.

help bring it out of committee.

seiu link: february 20, 2008

now is the time to remind your senator to protect patient care in pennsylvania. you can send your senator a message here.

senator pileggi represents the ninth senatorial district, which includes parts of chester and delaware counties.....he doesn't think mot is a problem in his district as 3 facilites have pasnap contracts with clauses prohibiitng mot; please help educate him on the facts if your in his district.


What point is the HB171? Who would I have to write and when it is up for votes?

I live in Chester County


Lee D

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

by clicking on the legeslation number, it takes one to the pa house bill website to show you where legislation is assigned.

hb 171 was assigned to health and human services committee, feb. 1, 2007 for review.

what needs to be done?

a. contact your legislators regarding your support or opposition to bill.

they want to hear from constituents before taking a stand. i've found that they especially listen to "in the treanches" constituents...... who write periodically on varying issues----it shows we are watching their voting record ;) with regards to whom we'll re-elect :)

legislative contacts can be found @ bill site:

"send comments to members of the: house senate "

b. contact sponsors of bill hopefully thanking them for bill introduction or why your oppposed....language that needs to be added to strengthen, or clean up bill, etc.

c. contact members of health and human services committee to encourage them to review, send to house membership for vote.

link at pa house website lists committees standing committees

click on committee name for list of members: health & human services

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

thanks to all who contacted their legislators........

pa senate passed hb 834 october 8th with this amendment:

(3) unexpected absences, discovered at or before the

25 commencement of a scheduled shift, which could not be

26 prudently planned for by an employer, and which would

27 significantly affect patient safety.

28 the term does not include vacancies that arise as a result of

29 chronic short staffing.

implementation date: july 1, 2009

now goes back to house for final approval before sent to governor rendell.

please contact your representatives to pass this legislation!

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Thanks for all who helped educate Senator Pileggi.


Received a lovely engraved letter from him yesterday that he supported and helped passed MOT legislation.

Guess who's running for election and who's county now has more voters not with his party...

Proof that the pen/email is a powerful tool.

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

act no. 102 :prohibition of excessive overtime in health care act goes into effect 7/1/09

under act 102 of 2008, all covered healthcare facilities "may not require an employee to work in excess of an agreed to, predetermined and regularly scheduled daily work shift." the act does not apply to all employees of a healthcare facility, but only to employees who receive an hourly wage or are classified as non-supervisory for collective bargaining purposes and who are involved in direct patient care activities or clinical care services. the following job classifications are specifically excluded from the act's protections: physician; physician assistant; dentist; or worker involved in environmental services, clerical, maintenance, food service or any other job not involved in direct patient care and clinical care services. although the act does not define covered job occupations, these occupations are likely to include nurses, technicians, technologists, certified nursing assistants and phlebotomists.

the act does not otherwise explicitly impose on healthcare facilities a duty to agree in writing with its employee on a "predetermined and regularly scheduled daily work shift," but it indicates that there must at least be an oral agreement. furthermore, even if not required, covered healthcare facilities may want to have a written agreement, created at the commencement of the employment relationship, setting forth the agreed "regularly scheduled daily work shift" to potentially avoid a dispute with the employee regarding his or her daily work shift.

as indicated, the act prohibits an employer from requiring an employee "to work in excess of an agreed to, predetermined and regularly scheduled daily work shift." it does not set forth a maximum number of hours above which an employee may not work in a day. to the contrary, the act states that it shall not be construed to "prevent an employee from working an agreed to, predetermined and regularly scheduled daily work shift that is greater than eight hours."

an employer is forbidden from taking adverse employment actions against an employee who refuses to "accept work in excess of the limitations" set forth in the act. accordingly, employees may not be punished for refusing to work beyond their regular daily shift.

the act contains three exceptions.

the first exception states that employees may be required to work hours beyond their regularly scheduled daily work shift if there is an unforeseeable "emergent circumstance" and

(1) the assignment of additional hours is used as a last resort;

(2) the healthcare facility has exhausted all required "reasonable efforts" to obtain other staffing; and

(3) the healthcare facility provides up to one hour to arrange for the care of the employee's minor child or elderly or disabled family member.

an "emergent circumstance" is defined to be:

(1) an unforeseeable declared national, state or municipal emergency;

(2) a highly unusual or extraordinary event which is unpredictable or unavoidable and which substantially affects the provision of needed health care services, such as acts of terrorism, natural disasters or a widespread disease outbreak; or

(3) unexpected absences, discovered at or before the commencement of a scheduled shift, which could not be prudently planned for by an employer, and which would significantly affect patient safety. it is generally understood that emergent circumstances do not include "chronic short staffing."

the second exception arises when an employee is required to work overtime to complete a patient care procedure already in progress if the absence of the employee could have an adverse effect on the patient. under these circumstances, an employee could be required to remain at work beyond the "regularly scheduled daily work shift."

finally, the act's prohibition does not cover "on-call" time as defined by the act; however, on-call time may not be used as a substitute for mandatory overtime or as a means of circumventing the intent of the legislation.

under the act, a covered employee who works more than 12 consecutive hours is entitled to a minimum of 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately after the worked "overtime."

the pennsylvania department of labor and industry may fine a healthcare facility that violates the act, or any regulation issued under the act, between $100 to $1,000 for each violation. the department may also order a healthcare facility to take an action that it deems necessary to correct a violation of the act. the department is expected to issue implementing regulations by april 2010.


Federal Law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), trumps state law.

Some of the ways that health care facilities (especially skilled nursing ones) cheat workers

out of their overtime is:

1) Tell you to arrive early for report and THEN clock in.

2) Interrupt your lunch hour - even for a minute - then you are entitled to be paid for the hour

3) Make you attend meetings off the clock

4) Tell you to clock out and finish your charting or other work

5) Tell you to clock out and do the narcotics count

6) Tell you to clock out and wait for your relief.

They always threaten you with the loss of your license if you don't stay.

A group of Texas nurses has filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act to collect their overtime.

Although it talks about LVN's, documentation suggests that Med Aides, CNA's, housekeeping,

and food service will join in to collect their back money

It looks like the suit is expanding nation wide to many skilled nursing facilities.

Read about it here:


I work in an operating room in PA. The way our department is trying to get out of this is to say that when a patient arrives in the hospital and has an IV started, at that time his surgical procedure has begun. Our OR schedule is hopelessly optimistic, and a case that is scheduled to start at 12:00 may not get started until 3:00. If I am told to stay and do the case and do not follow orders, I will be considered to have abandoned my patient, even though he may still be up in the preop area.

This is what we were told by management. Has anyone heard anything similar?

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing has stated:

"The regulations place the licensee population on notice that abandoning a patient and leaving an assignment without properly notifying the department head or other personnel are prohibited."


To me this means that an RN would remain with the patient providing any needed care. That circulating RN may notify the RN department head and the surgical team, "I cannot begin assisting for this elective procedure because to do so will place the patient at risk. This is planned overtime leading to fatigue, accidents, and errors.

I will remain with my assigned patient(s) until a rested and competent replacement RN arrives or until the procedure is postponed."

Would THAT be abandonment?

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

see dept of licensure and iinspection

act no. 102 :prohibition of excessive overtime in health care act

act 102 faq

pdf version of act 102 power point presentation

pdf version of act 102 complaint form

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