The companion House and Senate bills are still in committee and have yet to be voted upon by either body. It is difficult to determine at this point precisely what effect this law will have on the safe and efficient operation of hospitals.
An unintended consequence of the law could be that hospitals are forced to call in more employees to work hours that need coverage.
" Perhaps, but the argument will likely be made that the overtime is only necessary because of "chronic short staffing" or because "reasonable efforts" were not made to obtain staffing.
Finally, it remains to be seen whether or not this law will actually improve patient safety - its stated purpose.
“If you don’t stay and work extra, who will take the admission that’s coming? If you’ve been told by your nurse manager that you must work “mandatory” overtime, don’t buy it!
Under Minnesota state law, nurses cannot be disciplined for refusing overtime if, in the nurse’s judgment, it would be unsafe for the patient.
The law prohibits requiring nurses to work longer than their agreed-upon shifts of either eight, ten or twelve hours and at no time longer than twelve consecutive hours. The law only applies to individuals paid on an hourly basis and does not include those paid an annual salary or those who are working a pre-scheduled on-call shift in a hospital's surgical department.
Prohibitions Under the Law Hospitals are prohibited from requiring covered employees to work overtime in excess of their predetermined eight, ten or twelve hour shifts.
Mandatory Overtime in Other Jurisdictions Rhode Island joins a growing number of states that have prohibited or restricted mandatory overtime for nurses.Whether the overtime is planned or unplanned does make a difference: we plan to get extra sleep, bring an extra meal, and mentally prepare when we know overtime is coming; when it’s not, we’re caught between pleasing our supervisor and doing what’s best for the patient.What happens if your nurse manager tells you that if you do not accept an overtime assignment, you are abandoning your patients? Generally speaking, patient abandonment occurs when a nurse leaves a patient without handing off that patient’s care to another nurse.A hospital is likewise prohibited from discriminating, dismissing, discharging or taking any adverse employment action against a nurse or certified nurse assistant who refuses to work overtime in accordance with the statute.As the law only applies to hourly paid employees, nurse managers paid on a salary basis may be required to work as many hours as necessary.