"TIME BACK" vs. Overtime "PAY"

Nurses General Nursing

Published

I work in an O.R. that has no 3-11 p.m. staff, nor an 11-7 a.m. staff, therefore our 16 hours of call begins at 3 P.M. after working an eight hour day. Frequently, there is more than one room running past 3 P.M., so additional staff is needed besides the call team to finish the scheduled cases. We are reimbursed in "time" rather than $$ for the O.T. For example, if we stay one hour late, then, sometime during that week we are told to leave 1.5 hours early. We do not punch out on the days that we leave early and our manager adjusts our time to reflect a 40 hour work week. So, our unit never shows any "OVERTIME WORKED"...... The "call team" gets paid "call pay..at time and 1/2...put that is reflected as "call $$ on the books, not overtime). Some of us would prefer the $$, rather than having time back, but, there are some people who like being able to leave early as well. Should we be given the OPTION? We are also concerned that by our department never reflecting any "overtime worked" that this may sabotage our efforts in attempting to get more staffing...or a 3-11 staff. Regularly scheduled cases continue to be booked past 3 P.M., in an attempt to increase business..which is understandable....and, with today's economy, the nurses are all willing to be flexible and do their part. We are just wondering if anyone else has ever run across this type of situation and what options we may have with regard to requesting to be paid the O.T. rather than being told to leave early during the week on another day.

Thoughts?

Thank You....

berube

214 Posts

if it were me i would like the option of choosing. how will you ever justify hiring additional staff if the OT is not reflected?

mykidzmom

89 Posts

Specializes in oncology, med/surg (all kinds).

You might want to check out the overtime labor laws in your state (which are often different for healthcare than The Rest Of The World). you likely would not be offered a choice, between which you prefer. however, unless you are considered management or a salaried employee, versus hourly, which i think they used to call "exempt" employees i think you MUST be paid overtime. exempt employees get "comp time" where you work extra here, leave early there. when i was in management, i hated comp time, because i never really got to take it. i suspect it is very possible that your hospital or unit might be breaking labor laws. but to find out, you can't go to your department or HR--you might even consider getting a couple folks together to just *ask* a labor lawyer. managers have a lot of pressure to make sure hours worked reflect their budget. he or she should not manipulate the data so that it all works out when indeed it does not. this smells fishy to me.

i think several years ago there was a movement to try to get nurses salaried (to avoid paying overtime) using the argument that since nurses supervise unlicensed personnel they were to be considered supervisors and therefore exempt from overtime pay. fortunately, i think that little effort went away.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

I can use the money from overtime to pay bills and buy things or to put into savings or invest. I can't use the time off for anything. I can't go to another job and earn time and one half. So, of course, I would want the option of getting paid instead. This is being done for the employer's benefit only I can assure you, and I don't agree with it.

nicurn001

805 Posts

Specializes in Psych , Peds ,Nicu.

As another poster said your managers actions are possibly illegal on many counts ( look into the laws for your state ).

It appears your time cards are being falsified , this is an offence ( which in my facility , I could be terminated upon a first offence ),which can lead to serious repercussions eg. your manager has manipulated your time card , without you knowing , you were caring for patient for a patient " off the clock ",at a later date you are sued by patient for your actions during that time , you will not be covered by hospital ,as you were " off the clock "( so should not have been working ), if you do not have your own liability insurance you are now in deep trouble .

If you work more than 40 hours in a week , the law says you receive time and a half pay .

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

As another poster said your managers actions are possibly illegal on many counts ( look into the laws for your state ).

It appears your time cards are being falsified , this is an offence ( which in my facility , I could be terminated upon a first offence ),which can lead to serious repercussions eg. your manager has manipulated your time card , without you knowing , you were caring for patient for a patient " off the clock ",at a later date you are sued by patient for your actions during that time , you will not be covered by hospital liability insurance ,as you were " off the clock "( so should not have been working ), if you do not have your own liability insurance you are now in deep trouble .

If you work more than 40 hours in a week , the law says you receive time and a half pay .

Precisely. Against labor laws and what are you going to do when you are named in a lawsuit?

shodobe

1,260 Posts

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

Just another attempt by management to work the books! Labor laws in most states do reflect OT based either on a scheduled day, 8, 10 or 12 hour shifts, or a 40 hour week. We have instituted what we call ESI, Extra Shift Incentive. This paid at 1 an 3/4 an hour. This was put into place to pay those who were willing to stay over or come back on their day off. This is house wide. It works well. In an OR that shows no OT this is fishy. ALL ORs have OT! The managers are trying to show to corporate that the don't have OT, which is a lie and send people home when it isn't busy, another lie. Keep track of your OT so you can have proof later. In Calif if I work 10 hours one night I get 2 hours OT even if I take a day off during the same pay period. Ours is based on daily hours as well as weekly hours. Last year I discovered they had not paid me correctly for shift differential foe many years. After I went through all of my past pay checks, my wife doesn't throw anything away, they ended owing me close to $10,000 in back pay!!!! It pays to monitor your pay very closely because you just never know.

coffee4metech

230 Posts

Specializes in OR.

When ever a manager tampers with adjusting the time clock , it is illegal I think she doesn't want to get caught up in overtime because it falls on her head from her superiors.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Just another attempt by management to work the books! Labor laws in most states do reflect OT based either on a scheduled day, 8, 10 or 12 hour shifts, or a 40 hour week. We have instituted what we call ESI, Extra Shift Incentive. This paid at 1 an 3/4 an hour. This was put into place to pay those who were willing to stay over or come back on their day off. This is house wide. It works well. In an OR that shows no OT this is fishy. ALL ORs have OT! The managers are trying to show to corporate that the don't have OT, which is a lie and send people home when it isn't busy, another lie. Keep track of your OT so you can have proof later. In Calif if I work 10 hours one night I get 2 hours OT even if I take a day off during the same pay period. Ours is based on daily hours as well as weekly hours. Last year I discovered they had not paid me correctly for shift differential foe many years. After I went through all of my past pay checks, my wife doesn't throw anything away, they ended owing me close to $10,000 in back pay!!!! It pays to monitor your pay very closely because you just never know.

Did you get your back pay without having to resort to legal action?

shodobe

1,260 Posts

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

I got it because I had all the proof needed. Actually they were very good about it. I put everything on a spreadsheet before I notified them about it. It would have been very hard to dispute it and I actually only went back about 7 years and could have hit them up even more. The problem was we changed the way our paychecks looked back then and it would have been harder for me to get the info based on how the check looked. Our checks since then are very detailed down to the penny for missed meals to callback, OT, ...... This why I tell everyone to keep ALL of their paychecks for many years and not just for tax purposes. I have everyone going back 32 years!

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Glad to hear you had no problem getting your pay. Frankly, I think I would have gone for broke but maybe that is because I'm constructively unemployed!

babydoll99_99

66 Posts

Specializes in Postpartum.

Our unit does the same thing, minus the manager messing with the time clock. If we work a 16 hour shift on tuesday you can bet that ifthe have the chance they will send you home early on the last day of the week you work. In Texas OT is based on weekly pay so it is perfectly legal to do this. Although many of our nurses (including me) will not come in on our day off or stay late now because of it.

I am pretty sure that messing with the time clock is illegal everywhere. Check your labor laws. i don't understand why she has to do this. If you clock out 1 hour after shift and then leave 1 hour early another shift it should work out on your time. unless you are in a state that counts the OT on hours worked during the day. If so, what she is doing HAS to be illegal.

Other posters had a good point to. What happens if you are named in a lawsuit where you were supposedly off the clock. You are hung out to dry. Please look into this.

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