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max hours forced to work without rest in healthcare field Tennessee

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  • max hours forced to work without rest in healthcare field Tennessee

    Hi,
    I work for a company who is regulated and paid by the TN State DMRS to assist the mentally disabled. How many hours can a person be forced to work in TN without any breaks or rest? Healthcare work is working for the mentally disabled who require assistance in their homes, providing contolled medication admin (state lic required), home cleaning, food prep, money, everything for daily and night living...etc. Working 8 hours without breaks is normal in this field.
    I presently work 2-16 hour shifts with only 6-8 hours break (if my shift change shows up on time which is rare, but I also logged this into the state logs) but now it's moving to 40 hours without a break or sleep of any type. You can not sleep for violation of the laws, nor rest in order to provide the proper care for those you are responsible. The clients need constant watch and supervision, but also for my own saftey to get home.
    I would prefer termination over out right violation of laws governing the care of the clients, and If I report the company to DMRS I wont ever work in the field again, and If I follow their directions and anything ever happened to a client then I would be charged with neglect and never work the field again or pass any backgound investigation for any job in any field due to the neglect of the disabled.
    Last edited by jbern; 01-31-2010, 04:59 PM. Reason: verification of position, no not a nurse, direct support staff

  • Pattymd
    replied
    Well, not all federal "laws" are FLSA. That's why I was wondering.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rangeman
    replied
    It must be a state DOL as the only thing that Federal even mentions is:


    Sleeping Time and Certain Other Activities: An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though he/she is permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. An employee required to be on duty for 24 hours or more may agree with the employer to exclude from hours worked bona fide regularly scheduled sleeping periods of not more than 8 hours, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep. No reduction is permitted unless at least 5 hours of sleep is taken.

    Leave a comment:


  • GotSmart
    replied
    TN State DMRS is Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services.

    I thought I mentioned Federal labor laws???

    That could explain why the states do not have any requirements for the field. It is covered under federal laws.

    I was typing as I spoke to the 5th person I was transferred to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    Originally posted by GotSmart View Post
    This is what I was told. DOL statute requires 2 8 hour sleep periods in a 40 hour shift. This is covered under Federal wage and hour laws. I could not get the specific statute.
    DMRS is who? And was this the state Dept. of Labor or the federal Dept. of Labor?

    Leave a comment:


  • GotSmart
    replied
    I just got off the phone with TN State DMRS

    This is what I was told. DOL statute requires 2 8 hour sleep periods in a 40 hour shift. This is covered under Federal wage and hour laws. I could not get the specific statute.

    They gave me several phone numbers. (If they are not in your area, they will give you the right numbers.)

    615-231-5297
    615-884-6803

    Investigations 888-633-1313

    Explain the situation, and you will get the proper information from the horses mouth. You will not be in trouble at all.

    Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • GotSmart
    replied
    In the last several shifts, I have been struck at, and spit on, yelled at and accused of abuse. All this in front of witnesses. I get to take care of the Alzheimer clients.

    It is a good thing that physical contact is a defense in this field. (A hug helps.) You treat them like a child, and most of the time by patience and gentle words you can get the client to calm down. My "worst" client responds well to being treated like a one year old. If all else fails, a "time out" works. Changing the subject is also a good one.

    I will be so happy to get my Masters and move on with my life!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Betty3
    replied
    Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
    Sounds like this is your industry of expertise, GS, so I defer to you.
    Me, too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    Sounds like this is your industry of expertise, GS, so I defer to you.

    Leave a comment:


  • GotSmart
    replied
    Just as I thought.

    Patty. OP is a caregiver. he/she is required to be trained in some medical and safety procedures. Training in passing medication, CPR, MANT, and monthly training in various requirements.

    This field is notorious in the lack of rules to protect the caregiver. The client is allowed to do what ever they want, but we are not allowed to do more than gently restrain them. The management can require us to work ungodly hours.

    Unless a call is made to your regulating office (DMRS) and the question asked about requiring you to work 40 hours in a row, you can be required to do it. Any problems can came back on you, and then you will be banned from this industry for life.

    Like I said. Requiring you to work that many hours is a form of neglect to the clients. They need a staff that is alert and fresh for safety reasons.

    Call and ask the questions. You do not have to give your name unless you want to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    Then there is no wage and hour law that is going to prevent the employer from requiring you to work those hours. What does "direct support staff" mean? Are you a CNA or other licensed healthcare professional?

    Leave a comment:


  • jbern
    replied
    from jbern

    No, not a nurse. Direct support staff

    Leave a comment:


  • GotSmart
    replied
    That is up to the governing agency to decide. Requiring a caregiver to stand a 40 hour shift sounds like potential abuse and neglect to me. If you knowingly place a client in a situation where the caregiver would be unable to be alert during the whole shift it is neglect.

    My company has a policy where if you feel you cannot stay awake, you call a supervisor, and they relieve you with no repercussions. The safety of the client comes first.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    True, but we haven't determined there is a violation of law yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • GotSmart
    replied
    Originally posted by jbern View Post
    Hi,
    I work for a company who is regulated and paid by the TN State DMRS to assist the mentally disabled. How many hours can a person be forced to work in TN without any breaks or rest? Healthcare work is working for the mentally disabled who require assistance in their homes, providing contolled medication admin (state lic required), home cleaning, food prep, money, everything for daily and night living...etc. Working 8 hours without breaks is normal in this field.
    I presently work 2-16 hour shifts with only 6-8 hours break (if my shift change shows up on time which is rare, but I also logged this into the state logs) but now it's moving to 40 hours without a break or sleep of any type. You can not sleep for violation of the laws, nor rest in order to provide the proper care for those you are responsible. The clients need constant watch and supervision, but also for my own saftey to get home.
    I would prefer termination over out right violation of laws governing the care of the clients, and If I report the company to DMRS I wont ever work in the field again, and If I follow their directions and anything ever happened to a client then I would be charged with neglect and never work the field again or pass any backgound investigation for any job in any field due to the neglect of the disabled.
    If you report the company, you are protected. You are also a mandatory reporter.

    Make an anonymous report, and let the chips fall where they may. All interviews are private, and only the decision is reported to the company.

    Leave a comment:

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