"TIME BACK" vs. Overtime $$ pay

Specialties Operating Room


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.


Thank You....


597 Posts

Specializes in OR Hearts 10.

Is management open to various shifts? We have 10's and 12's to cover the late cases.

Plus, if we are "forced" to work late, ie no one to relieve you, we (most of us) put that time on a call sheet.

Good luck


174 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room (and a bit of med/surg).

We too have 10h shifts, but we are staffed 24/7. We have a choice of whether to bank the time, or take the money. We do a fair amount of OT, but it is counted as such. Doesn't make management happy, but it's that or cancel more cases (which they don't want us to do either...)


375 Posts

Let's do the math. Let's say you get paid $30 an hour.

Staying late for an hour equals 41 hours of work including 1 hour of time-and-a-half.

(40 x $30)+(1 x $45) = $1,245.

$1,245 divided by 41 hours = $30.37 an hour.

Going home 1.5 hours early equals 39.5 hours of work. Your boss adjusting it to 40 hours (which is fraud by the way) equals (40 x $30) = $1,200.

$1,200 divided by 39.5 hours = $30.38 an hour.

So, economically, the choices are equal. But considering that giving you 8 hours pay for 6.5 hours of work is fraud, which is illegal, and that you are aware that the fraud is taking place, I would choose the old-fashioned time-and-a-half method.

I would tell my boss that I am not comfortable taking part in fraud.


111 Posts

Specializes in OR.

if you are being forced to take comp time for overtime worked, i think that is illegal. i would discuss this with your manager and state that you would like receive $$ from now on. may be this needs to be addressed with human resources. you are being denied fair compensation. it is different if you are offered a choice between comp time and $$.


6 Posts

Specializes in Main OR, L&D.

I agree with the other posts. What your boss is doing is fraudulant, illegal, manupulative, and undeniably wrong. Take this issue to upper mgmt,human resources and administration.


9 Posts

Huhhhh.....the adminstration is IN on it too...we have been suddenly placed on "salary", we are suddenly referred to as "professionals"... get paid for 40 max.....even if we work 50hrs....still have to clock in and out, mandated to take call, do not get paid for call time or if you have to return to work...NO pay...sounds illegal to me, but we, RNs dont have any controll over what is dictated to us by our poor state nursing agencies nor the wage and hour labor board. Now RNs can be exempt and paid a flat salary and NO overtime...and mandated to work over as necessary without pay or "THEY", the ones who dont know how to do a nursing job, but make the RULES to their favor, say it is "abandoment of patient". RNs need some type of legal leverage...we are used and abused all to often.....So the question is, "What to do?" Any suggestions?



6 Posts

Specializes in Main OR, L&D.

Call Joint Commision.

Call the media.


375 Posts

Look in your local yellow pages and call an employment attorney. Ask for a free consultation.


6 Posts

Specializes in Main OR, L&D.

How have you and your coworkers been feeling? Febrile? Sore throat? N&V? Diarrhea? Sounds like a blue flu to me!


200 Posts

Specializes in CCU, OR.

Anyone contact the State Labor Board? I suspect that mandatory time off as comp time vs overtime isn't legal.

Talk with a labor lawyer; make sure to get a copy of the HR policy on compensation.

Make sure that you have anecdotal notes, documenting the practices in your department.

BabyLady, BSN, RN

2,300 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Post-partum.

You have to defer to either your union rules or your state rules for when you are due overtime.

In most states, the US Department of labor does not consider that you have worked overtime unless you have worked over 40 hours PER WEEK.

It's not factored in by day. So if you work 2 hours over one day, and clock out two hours early later on in the week, then legally, you are not due overtime.

If you are an hourly employee, and work over 40 hours per week, by law, you are required to be paid time-and-a-half.

PS: Comp time is illegal...an employer cannot give you "time off" on another pay period or hours of PTO in lieu of paying you the overtime rate if you work over 40 hours per week.

HOWEVER...if you took hours of sick leave, holiday pay, etc...during that same week and that put you over the 40 hours...overtime pay is not required...it's only due for hours actually, physically worked.

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