Gov. Hochul: Protect Home Care Nurses from Mandatory Overtime!
ACTION TYPE: Email Governor Hochul
Mandatory Overtime Hours Worked by Home Care Nurses
Dear Governor Hochul,
As a constituent who cares as much about our state's health care professionals as the patients they care for, I urge you to enact S.4885-A (Savino)/A.181-A (Gunther). This legislation will provide home care nurses with the same protections that are currently afforded to other types of nurses, with regard to consecutive hours of work, by ensuring that home care nurses are not required to work unscheduled, mandatory overtime shifts.
Chapter 493 of the Laws of 2008 afforded most nurses in New York State with protections against overtime work requirements. Specifically, the law provides that nurses cannot be required to work beyond their regularly scheduled work hours except in the case of an emergency. However, home care nurses were carved out of this law. Therefore, a home care nurse can be forced by their employer to work beyond their regularly scheduled hours with little or no warning and as frequently as the employer sees fit.
Typically, the schedule of a visiting nurse is meticulously planned out. Any last-minute alteration to that schedule, due to the employer's improper planning, can be disruptive or even harmful to the patients under a home care nurse's charge, as they may need to cancel or delay other appointments to try and meet the demands of the added clients.Forced overtime often results in nurse fatigue, which can lead to mistakes caused by overlooking important details. Also, forcing employees to work overtime may introduce additional physical, mental and emotional stress to an already demanding work environment. Home care nurses provide primary care screening, care delivery and chronic health care management, which help to reign in health care costs by allowing patients to remain in their homes.
Furthermore, many home care nurses have families and are often the caregiver for their own relatives. Requiring them to work overtime with no notice, unduly disrupts their personal lives. This can be particularly distressing for nurses with young children who need to be picked up from school or childcare as they must find someone to pick up their children and care for them until they are relieved of their nursing duties.
No nurse should be forced to work hours they were not scheduled, or initially agreed to work, as it creates an unsafe situation for both the nurses and their patients. The practice of mandatory overtime is and an inappropriate and unnecessary use of staff who should be able to plan a workday and arrive home safely.
The enactment of this legislation will help to prevent nurse burnout, ensure that nurses throughout our state have safe working conditions and will serve as a critical component of the recruitment and retention efforts in the health care field in New York State.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I respectfully ask that you sign this legislation into law, and I look forward to your response to my email.
(c) 2022 NYSUT
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