help SEIU ban mandatory overtime for health care workers

Last year, I blogged about SEIU's efforts to ban mandatory overtime for health care workers. Our bill passed in the house, but we ran out of time to pass it in the Senate.

Responding to the comment about needing to know the arguments. The main issue at stake here is that if you are a direct care giver (RN, LPN, CNA), the boss has the ability to 'mandate' you to work an extra shift. Workers are often threatened with being charged with 'patient abandonment' (a charge that the state Board of Nursing takes very seriously) if they refuse to work a second shift. Hospital RNs commonly work a 12-hour shift, so mandation means that they are at work for 24 straight hours.

Mandatory overtime has been linked to increased medical errors, and has also contributed to the nursing shortage, as nurses with young children or other family commitments abandon hospital employment in order to make sure that they are able to balance their work and their life.

There is more information about this online here.

This session, we're determined to end the exploitive practice of forcing health care workers to stay at work for double shifts. Our bill has been reintroduced in the house as HB 834, and should be voted on sometime in April. Currently, the bill has 70 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, but we expect opposition from the health care industry.

Please call your state rep, and make sure they are protecting the safety of Pennsylvania's patients by banning mandatory overtime!


could you link to your previous post, for those of us who might have missed or forgotten the arguments?


Let me preface by saying

Let me preface by saying that I come from a family of nurses (four nurses over three generations). I've spoken with all of them and their reaction is the same: it's a great idea to reduce the amount of overtime that nurses work, but making it law is a bad idea. If a hospital cannot require a nurse to work overtime when someone else calls out sick, for example, who takes care of the patients?

There are a set number of nurses licensed today. If patient population goes up at a hospital, there is only so much the administration can do to make sure that there is adequate nursing coverage. Overtime must remain an option.


I completely understand the nursing shortage. However, I am one person, when I am mandated for 16hr shifts I am not a safe nurse. I'm a Supervisor and not only am I being mandated. I am mandating my staff for 12-16hrs each person being mandated up to 3 times per week. This all so the company doesn't have to spend money on agency staff. I've been a nurse for 6 yrs and I'm already burnt out. It is very common for nurses to be burnt out by 5yrs and even change proffessions. What good are we if we get out of nursing. Please help to pass this bill.

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