Monday, November 05, 2012

Ban on Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Effective Today

MGL c.111, s.226 as added by St.2012, c.224, s.103, bans mandatory overtime for nurses except in emergency situations. Here are some highlights of the new law:
  • Nurses cannot be regularly scheduled for more than "12 hours in any 24 hour period."
  • A "hospital shall not require a nurse to work mandatory overtime except in the case of an emergency situation where the safety of the patient requires its use and when there is no reasonable alternative."
  • In an emergency, "the facility shall, before requiring mandatory overtime, make a good faith effort to have overtime covered on a voluntary basis. "
  • "Hospitals shall report all instances of mandatory overtime and the circumstances requiring its use to the department of public health."
  • "A nurse shall not be allowed to exceed 16 consecutive hours worked in a 24 hour period. In the event a nurse works 16 consecutive hours, that nurse must be given at least 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately after the worked overtime."