Search form

Connecticut, West Virginia Enact Restrictions on Overtime for Nursing Staff

By Roger P. Gilson Jr.
  • June 9, 2004

Lawmakers in Connecticut and West Virginia have enacted legislation that limits the ability of hospitals to require some nursing staff to work overtime, except under emergency circumstances. In West Virginia, the law is already in effect to prohibit the state's 10,000 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to work overtime. Nurses at four state-run hospitals and four veterans' hospitals would not be affected.

The Connecticut measure was approved on May 5 and would become effective on Oct. 1, 2005. Under the bill, hospitals could not require registered and licensed practical nurses or additional hours beyond what is scheduled except in certain limited circumstances including emergencies. However, the provisions do not apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement that addresses mandatory overtime. According to employee representatives in the state, several union contracts with Connecticut hospitals have "better language" than what the bill provides. According to reports, Governor John G. Rowland (R) has not indicated his position on the legislation, although a "veto session" is scheduled for mid-June.

Under the West Virginia law, nurses who have worked more than 12 consecutive hours must be given at least eight consecutive hours off. The overtime prohibition does not apply to voluntary overtime or to nurses working under collective bargaining agreements that have established overtime policies. Mandatory overtime would be permitted in public health or institutional emergencies, such as adverse weather or a catastrophe. It also allows a hospital to require a nurse participating in a surgical procedure to remain on the job until the procedure is complete, and to insure coverage in a critical care unit until the arrival of the scheduled nurse for the next shift.

According to the American Nurses Association, West Virginia joins eight other states that have prohibited or restricted mandatory overtime for nursing staff.

©2004 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

November 13, 2019

Healthcare Employers’ Title VII Obligations in Harassment, Discrimination of Employees by Patients

November 13, 2019

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires healthcare employers to protect their medical staff and employees from harassment and discrimination and respond to any such behaviors swiftly and effectively, even if the actor is a patient, rather than a coworker or supervisor. A decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit... Read More

October 18, 2019

Pay the Piper – California Employers Pressed to Pay Arbitration Fees or Risk Harsh Consequences

October 18, 2019

California employers may face harsh consequences for failing to pay arbitration fees on time under a bill (Senate Bill 707) signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 13, 2019. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Under the new law, if an employer fails to pay fees required for the commencement or continuation of an... Read More

October 15, 2019

New California Law Attacks Mandatory Arbitration Again … But Is It More Bark Than Bite?

October 15, 2019

California has joined a number of states in passing legislation purporting to prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and other claims. Such laws have gained popularity in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but are subject to challenge under Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preemption principles. (See our articles... Read More

Related Practices