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  • Overtime for a Federal Employee

    My wife is soon going to become a Federal Employee. She currently works as a Registered Nurse at a hospital near Philadelphia, PA. The Philadelphia area has been very good to her. Her base pay has been $41 per hour and she is an overtime hound, writing her name into available time slots on weekends and holidays, for two years. Last year, she made $130,000 which just edged out what she made the year before.

    I just read the CNN Money article that said you can now be exempt from overtime laws if:

    1. You make over $100,000 per year.

    2. If you are a professional, that is if your job is "primarily intellectual" and requires "frequent discretion and judgement" such as nurses, doctors and engineers.

    She is about to take her skills to the local VA Hospital where they will base her pay, somewhat, on what she is currently making. However, she will now be a part of a union. The CNN article didn't say anything about that or about Federal employees.

    Anybody have an answer on this?
    Scott
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Nurses and Overtime

    Exemption from overtime is based on several factors, including use of discretion and a minimum amount of weekly pay. However, nurses have been consistently viewed as not exempt from overtime requirements. In addition, a number of states have instituted a restriction from forcing nurses to work mandatory overtime, over a certain amount.

    Another determining factor is the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in place between the hospital and the union. Typically, CBA's address overtime.

    Let me know if you have other questions.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator
    www.laborlawtalk.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Highly Compensated

      One other piece of information...the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, have stated that a highly compensated employee who earns total annual compensation of $100,000 or more, which includes at least $455 per week paid on a salary basis is exempt from overtime if the employee’s primary duty includes performing office or non-manual work; and the employee customarily and regularly performs at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee.

      However, since she is working for a federal entity, she is covered by the Service Contract Act. The SCA specifically lists several nursing positions, such as Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse, as being covered by the Act. As such, she is eligible for overtime.

      As I said earlier, the CBA may change the terms. In my experience, CBA's usually do not reduce the overtime. Instead, they may increase the amount of overtime to be paid.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Lillian Connell

      Forum Moderator
      www.laborlawtalk.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank You

        Thank you for your input so far. Renee (my wife) is due to start at the VA on Monday and she will probably will probably get her CBA book shortly thereafter. I will like to get a hold of it and post a few paragraphs of it that pertain to overtime for others to look at if they wish. It is probably typical of other Federal CBA's.

        Geez, she read the same CNN article this morning that I did and she started getting all opinionated about it. I don't blame her. Thought she was going a little too far when she wanted to call Rush Limbaugh about it..?? She had a hard night last night.

        Scott
        [email protected]

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        • #5
          Federal Employees

          CNN is wrong, in this case. Let me know if you have any other questions.
          Lillian Connell

          Forum Moderator
          www.laborlawtalk.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Additional Information

            I have some additional information as to where CNN is coming from. Under the new overtime regulations, the US Department of Labor states, "Registered nurses who are paid on an hourly basis should receive overtime pay. However, registered nurses who are registered by the appropriate State examining board generally meet the duties requirements for the learned professional exemption, and if paid on a salary basis of at least $455 per week, may be classified as exempt. Licensed practical nurses and other similar health care employees, however, generally do not qualify as exempt learned professionals, regardless of work experience and training, because possession of a specialized advanced academic degree is not a standard prerequisite for entry into such occupations, and are entitled to overtime pay."

            So, it is partially true that some nurses may no longer receive overtime. HOWEVER, your wife's case is different, even if she is a registered nurse. Why is it different? One, your wife's employment is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement and two, she is working at a federal facility and, as such, is subject to the McNamara O'Hare Service Contract Act (SCA). I don't believe that the SCA's requirements for overtime paid to nurses has changed (as of yet). Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
            Lillian Connell

            Forum Moderator
            www.laborlawtalk.com

            Comment

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