PA health pros no longer face forced overtime

A new law going into effect July of next year will end a practice that has vexed Pennsylvania health professionals greatly. The law will prohibit healthcare facilities, under most circumstances, from demanding that nurses and certain other staff members work beyond the scheduled end of their shifts. The bill's supporters, including Gov. Ed Rendell, say that the law was designed to improve patient safety by making it less likely that overtired workers make dangerous mistakes.

In addition to forbidding forced overtime, the measure includes provisions intended to prevent health facilities from disciplining or otherwise discriminating against caregivers who won't work beyonds the end of their shift. It also bars employers from using on-call time as a substitute for required overtime.

If providers violate the new law, which will be enforced by the state's Department of Labor & Industry, they face fines of $100 to $1,000 per violation. Sure, those aren't staggering fines, but it's a lot more than health professionals had in place before. The mere threat of being cited by by the Department of Labor & Industry--and by extension, being seen as a bad employer--may have more of a deterrent effect.

To learn more about the new law:
- read this Philadelphia Inquirer article

Related Articles:
PA bill would end required overtime by health workers
Trend: Hospitals lure nurses with better working conditions

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.