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Exempt Employee Abuse - Ohio

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  • ElleMD
    replied
    Originally posted by KArnold002 View Post
    Elle,

    My wife is able to work comfortably for about 10 hours/day without breaks/lunch. Past that she has back/hip trouble. She used to work 14 hours shifts and no longer can do so.

    Thank you for posting.
    Kevin
    Does she have a formal ADA requested accommodation in place to not work for more than 10 hours? Or does she just not work 12 hour shifts? Even if she does have an accomodation, it may or may not be reasonable to exempt her from working the full shifts in times of emergency.

    Leave a comment:


  • ElleMD
    replied
    Originally posted by KArnold002 View Post
    Elle,

    So you are saying the hospital could require, in their infintesimal wisdom, for my wife to stay there 24x7x365, against her will, and not pay?

    Come on. Yes, my example is ridicululous. But in my opinion, no less so than REQUIRING her to stay there for anything less than straight pay, let alone a pittance. Yes?

    Thank you for responding.
    Kevin

    If she isn't working, she doesn't have to be paid. If she is working, then she does. If she is sleeping, then she isn't working. You might think she deserves regular pay, but it isn't required.

    Be honest, in bad weather such as you describe do you really want her out on the roads? Or would you rather she stay there and sleep where she is safe? Were it my mother who works in a hospital, I know there would be no contest.

    Leave a comment:


  • TSCompliance
    replied
    Hmmm, taking it a few steps further....

    I'm only speaking as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked in agencies employing similarly licensed professionals. But, if an agency or hospital were to terminate a licensed professional because they required her to violate the ethics & regs of the licensing board, and she refused to comply with the hospital's orders, a good case could be made for wrongful term, right?

    I know in my state when a licensed healthcare professional refuses to comply with a directive that would compromise patient care, they would get whistleblower protection under NJ's very broad whistleblower statute (even if they never "blow a whistle" to anyone). But in other states without such broad whistleblower protection, wouldn't the professional be protected from termination under "public policy" or "exercising one's legal rights?" Or at least they could make a good case for wrongful termination I would think.

    Just wondering. Not sure if this lady would want to become the test case, but perhaps it's already happened in Ohio.

    Leave a comment:


  • WorkHorse
    replied
    Originally posted by joec
    Hmm does the board have any regulatory power?
    JoeC
    The BRN is responsible for regulating the practice of registered nurses.

    WorkHorse

    Leave a comment:


  • WorkHorse
    replied
    The following is from the Board of Registered Nursing - California:

    "RNs must exercise critical judgement regarding their individual ability to provide safe patient care when
    declining or accepting requests to work overtime. A fatigued and/or sleep deprived RN may have a
    diminished ability to provide safe, effective patient care. Refusal to work additional hours or shifts would
    not be considered patient abandonment by the BRN."

    WorkHorse

    Leave a comment:


  • WorkHorse
    replied
    The BRN expects each nurse to use their own good judgement. I've never know the board to make decisions regarding unsafe situations a nurse may find herself in.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    Originally posted by WorkHorse View Post
    It is up to each nurse to protect her license if placed in an unsafe situation. The nurse would not fair well in a court of law if a patient is harmed because the nurse is working an unfamiliar shift and is sleep deprived even if it is because the hospital "required" her to work.
    Which is why I recommend she contact the nursing board and get their take on it.

    Leave a comment:


  • WorkHorse
    replied
    It is up to each nurse to protect her license if placed in an unsafe situation. The nurse would not fair well in a court of law if a patient is harmed because the nurse is working an unfamiliar shift and is sleep deprived even if it is because the hospital "required" her to work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    If your wife has medical restrictions that don't allow her to work more than XX hours per day, then the employer needs to know about that. Whether or not they are able to accommodate the restrictions, however, is up to them.

    Has she talked to her licensing board? What do they say about the hours and "forcing" the employees to stay? Of course, unless there is a gun to your head, "forcing" is an overstatement.

    Leave a comment:


  • WorkHorse
    replied
    Kevin,
    How did this all play out? I completely understand your anger and frustration.
    I don't see how the hospital could force their staff to stay onsite, unless they had so many staff nurses calling to say they weren't able to come in. Usually, this becomes a problem if it is the shift that directly follows yours. In your wife's case that would have been the 3:30p - 11:00p shift. Making her stay for the 8 hours inbetween shifts doesn't sound right. I don't know how they would expect her to get any sleep from 3:30 to 11:00 and be able to provide adequate care for the entire night - that's a dangerous situation.
    Nursing is a very demanding profession both physically and mentally , a nurse must be able to competently assess their patients status along with providing care. Imagine a patient who has just had surgery and requires ongoing monitoring because of the possibility of Post op complications such as bleeding, pneumonia or reactions to medication -all which can present quickly and are life threatening. It would be ridiculous to think that a nurse who has been working without sleep is going to be able to catch all the symptoms. Nurses also have the right to protect their licenses if they feel they are being jeopardized.
    I really feel for your wife, working a 12 hour nursing shift is very tiring. Constantly being asked to work more than that leads to burn out. It is one of the reasons there is a nursing shortage.

    Leave a comment:


  • KArnold002
    replied
    Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
    Why would working more hours cause an injury or damage her health?
    Elle,

    My wife is able to work comfortably for about 10 hours/day without breaks/lunch. Past that she has back/hip trouble. She used to work 14 hours shifts and no longer can do so.

    Thank you for posting.
    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • KArnold002
    replied
    Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
    Since the time spent sleeping/on-call need not be paid at all, if the employer wishes to pay anything at all for that time, they may pay less than MW. It would not count toward OT unless the employer wishes it to as it is not time worked.
    Elle,

    So you are saying the hospital could require, in their infintesimal wisdom, for my wife to stay there 24x7x365, against her will, and not pay?

    Come on. Yes, my example is ridicululous. But in my opinion, no less so than REQUIRING her to stay there for anything less than straight pay, let alone a pittance. Yes?

    Thank you for responding.
    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • KArnold002
    replied
    Originally posted by joec
    Is this a level one trauma hospital?
    Joe, yes it is. What is your point?

    She does not work a high-risk area. I'm not sure of the importance of this.

    They also have several of their own policies they have broken. Crisis pay, and supposedly having people to go get people who cannot drive on their own, which didn't happen, and implementing different policies depending upon which floor you worked on. But like I said, it's not a crime to be incompetent, unfortunately.

    I guess the only "legal" point I'm not clear on, is forcing someone to stay onsite against their will, for an hourly employee, and only paying a fraction of their normal pay. Surely that can't be legal, can it?

    Thank you.
    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • KArnold002
    replied
    Originally posted by ScottB View Post
    She can leave, possibly at the cost of her job, so it is not kidnapping and the police would laugh at you if you called. There is nothing wrong, let alone illegal, about requiring an employee to stay on the premises while sleeping AND compensating them for the time.
    I can see that *IF* they were compensating her for her regular rate, but they were not -- only a fraction thereof. She gets around $24/hr normally.

    Thank you.
    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • KArnold002
    replied
    Originally posted by cyjeff View Post
    As long as they are paid appropriately, employees can be required to work 24/7/365 except in specifically named instances (airline pilots, long haul truckers).

    Therefore, if they are paying your wife properly, there is no recourse she has other than to dust off the resume.
    Well, actually I found out the "on call" pay is really about $2/hr. I'm not sure that is "paid appropriately" while being required to be onsite.

    Thank you.
    Kevin

    Leave a comment:

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