PA bill would end required overtime by health workers

A new bill working its way through the Pennsylvania legislature would ban the state's hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and long-term-care providers from demanding nurses and other clinical workers to work overtime. 

The bill, which has passed both chambers of the state's legislature, includes clinical workers who aren't considered supervisors in union contracts, and those who earn hourly wages and those who are temporary workers. On the other hand, it excludes doctors, physician assistants and dentists, as well as other jobs not directly related to care such as clerical and maintenance functions.

The rules aren't without exceptions, included to mollify the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. The measure includes language which allows healthcare employers to require overtime under certain specific circumstances, including unforeseeable declared emergencies, unforeseen or extraordinary events (read disasters, terrorism or the like) that impact their staffing needs or big vacancies that substantially affect patient safety. (The bill specifically notes that chronic short-staffing won't cut it as an excuse for mandating overtime.)

To learn more about this bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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