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And many nurses are glad to do this occasionally, or even regularly, because it lets them earn more money.

But chronic use of overtime can jeopardize the quality and safety of patient care.

If you refuse mandatory overtime for the purposes of protecting your patients, you will need to hand off the care of your patients to another RN, which can include your nurse manager (i.e. Remember that under the language of the overtime law, healthcare facilities are forbidden from reporting nurses who refuse mandatory overtime to the Board of Nursing.

When employers ask for or “mandate” overtime, it means the hospital is desperately short of staff.

“If you don’t stay and work extra, who will take the admission that’s coming? If you’ve been told by your nurse manager that you must work “mandatory” overtime, don’t buy it!

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(Section 10.9(d) of the Act)2) The complaint shall be filed within 45 days following the occurrence of the incident giving rise to the alleged violation.Any declared national, State or municipal disaster or other catastrophic event, or implementation of a hospital's disaster plan, that will substantially affect or increase the need for health care services; or2) Time spent by nurses required to be available as a condition of employment in specialized units, such as surgical nursing services, shall not be counted or considered in calculating the amount of time worked for the purpose of applying the prohibition against mandating overtime.(Section 10.9(a) of the Act)3) For any nurse who does not agree to employment requiring on-call hours, the refusal of a nurse employee to agree to such on-call availability shall not constitute grounds for retaliation, discrimination, dismissal, discharge, or any other penalty, threat of reports for discipline, or employment decisions adverse to the nurse employee.c) When a nurse is mandated to work up to 12 consecutive hours, the nurse shall be allowed at least 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately following the completion of a shift.The Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal labor law that outlines the rules for minimum wage and overtime, says that the vast majority of American workers should be paid at premium rates for working extra hours.But the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t set any limit on how many hours an employee can work in a week, and most employers are well within their legal rights requiring employees to work overtime.

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