Nurses in New York are worried that Governor Kathy Hochul is going to veto a bill that would regulate mandatory overtime.
Nurses typically work 12-hour shifts, but can be ‘mandated’ to work longer.
Advocates for better working conditions in healthcare say that these mandated shift extensions are a big reason the state’s largest nurses union has lost 9% of its members.
That’s representative of how many nurses have opted to leave healthcare, rather than continue to work 14-, 16-, or even more hours consecutively.
Senate Bill S1997A would limit the number of hours nurses could work consecutively.
The bill would assess employers with a civil penalty when a nurse is required to work more than their regularly scheduled work hours; and provides that the employee receive an additional fifteen percent of the overtime payment from the employer for each violation.
Pat Kane, who is the executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, says these frontline healthcare workers have shown up to work for years now, while only asking to be treated equitably. Kane says to not know when they will be able to go home from a shift is unthinkable.
Healthcare groups have argued against the legislation, saying it would be another factor that makes healthcare more expensive.
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