refusing mandatory O.T.

Nurses General Nursing


Sick and tired of being forced to work 16 hours and always short of staff, I have started

JUST SAYING NO. Last night my Supe anounced to me that I HAD to stay. Told her no. An hour later a DON called me and I said "Do you want me to quit RIGHT NOW or do you want a two week notice? End of conversation. Finally, at 10 after 11 with no relief another DON called me and started again :" You haven't done any mandation in two weeks and we are all trying to do our part" and blah blah blah. Meanwhile the supes DO NOT work OT. I then went berserk and demanded relief which I got. Whew. The staffing in this hell-hole is horrible, they will not close any beds. Their latest solution to the staffing crisis is since they can't bring any nurses in due to the lousy working conditions is they've hired nurses as supervisors at 6 bucks an hour more to come in and do exactly the same job that we staff nurses do. Thank our union, the Pennsylvania Nurses Assoc. for this and other "Management Rights" clauses in our latest contract. Have a couple interviews lined up for next week at two No Mandation facilities. Would like to hear from those of you who refuse or have refused OT.


33 Posts

Whenever I see messages like this, I just wonder what the heck your union is doing for you. I had a long polite discussion with a union nurse on another board. It just amazes me that a union- which is supposed to help you- gets you into situations like this. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you get a much, much better job.


97 Posts

NEBBY NURSE: You can always come to our facility, also in PA, with No Mandatory Overtime, of course that is about the biggest perk we have. We don't have a Union, nasty word here :confused: , there have been a couple of half hearted attempts but most of us are locked into staying in the area and management gets wind of Union type discussions and has little meetings to show their side of the"story". We have openings on 7-3 shift and that has never happened before in my 24 years here, also at least 3 openings on 3-11 (my shift) and as always, nights could use another couple of willing souls. Small town atmosphere, scenic area, great bunch of people to work with, Any takers?? ;)

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.


Just say no!!Let's turn this mandatory OT around from the grassroots- Supervisors and managers need to get in there and do the OT. It's their responsibility to staff the unit, and if they don't they need to get in to the hospital and Work In The Trenches.


2 Posts

One of the most couragous events I ever witnessed was a fellow R.N., who when faced with unsafe working conditions, utilized the internal reporting system (this hospital called them RAC'S) and wrote up the hospital for "unsafe working conditions". Would I be able to do this-I am not sure. Did it work? Yes it did. It was amazing how quickly help was found.

My new job is also a union, and we have mandated OT. I just started yesterday and I told the DON that I will not be forced, she said "I'll see what I can do" I am a CNA, I'd like to know what happens to my certificate, if I refuse OT and walk out. Can I lose it? And am I really responsible to stay? The DON is also a member of the union which makes me think the union means nothing? The only good thing is it's a city job. Great benefits!


Good for you! I am certain I would do the same if I were in your shoes. I work at a union hospital in California. We have "no mandatory overtime" written into our contract. In fact, our state's Board of Registered Nursing does not consider it patient abandonment if you refuse to work additional hours or shifts (ie mandatory overtime).

I think mandatory overtime is UNSAFE and UNFAIR. (What is this, the industrial revolution?!) Even without mandatory overtime, my phone is ringing off the hook 24/7 for me to come in and work "an extra shift" or even a half shift. I have to unplug my phone at night because they have called on numerous occasions at 1 am or 2 am to see if I can come in early at 3 am!

So, I am applauding you!Just say no.You are a person, not a slave.You have a right to a life outside of work. You have the right to say no. Talk to your union reps and see what can be done. Maybe you need to find another place of employment? Best of luck!

georgia nurse

10 Posts

I was in a "team building task force" meeting this week with staff nurses and a couple of administrators. At one point, they asked our thoughts on instituting mandatory call (Med- Surg. Unit) There was this long silence. I am sure the staff nurses were biting their tongues to keep from busting out laughing. I spoke up and suggested that with the mandatory overtime issue around the country being challenged with legislation, that they probably didn't want to go there. End of conversation.Thank goodness for this bb.


123 Posts

Glad you refused. We, as nurses, have to remember that we are not responsible for the staffing patterns in the hospitals. We are responsible for the care of the patients and our own licenses. How can you give good care and guard your license when you are consistently working tired? The hospitals want our loyalty to administration but if we are patient advocates then we are torn and our loyalty cannot be with both.

Specializes in Hospice and palliative care.

Although I have not been forced to do mandatory OT, I agree with kona2 that it is unsafe and unfair. I was wondering if anyone knew the status of the federal legislation introduced by Tom Lantos to abolish mandatory OT? If anybody knows the status of this proposed bill, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!

OC_An Khe

1,018 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED.

I'm not sure of the status on the federal mot bill, I think I'll ask my representative about it. Why don't we all do this?

[ June 10, 2001: Message edited by: ocankhe ]


157 Posts

HB 1289 was referred to Sub-committee on Workforce Protections 5/30/01.

Please continue to write your legislators to support this bill so they know it is imperative!

Don't let it die!

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