May 14, 2019—San Diego, CA. Nurses throughout the U.S., working at private hospitals, have recently been taking action on what they consider to be labor violations. Nursing is tough work in a stressful environment with long hours, an endless supply of patients, and often demeaning doctors. The health care industry is trying to cut corners and many times it’s the nurses who are targeted with possible labor violations.
Nurses are a critical part of healthcare and make up the largest section of the health profession. According the World Health Organization (WHO) there are close to 4 million registered nurses in the U.S.
According to The American Nurses Association (ANA) (2018), there will be more registered nurse jobs available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) projects 1.1 million additional nurses are needed to avoid a further shortage.
However news of possible labor violations doesn’t help with this shortage, and may even turn some away from becoming nurses.
Nurses not being paid for proper wages for on-call hours.
One recent headline on the subject comes from Lincoln, Nebraska. The news story from February 2019 was featured on Omaha.com.
Staff writer Julie Anderson reported that seven nurses at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, operated by Catholic Health Initiatives, alleged not being paid correctly under state and federal law for time worked while on call on weeknights, weekends and some holidays. Their lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Lincoln.
Their lawyer Kathleen Neary speaking on behalf of the nurses stated: “thought long and hard about bringing the lawsuit because they love their jobs, they love taking care of their patients, but they just want what the law requires in terms of pay.”
FLSA Laws Covers Registered Nurses
All employment laws, including nurses at hospitals, come under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA). The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 29 U.S.C. § 203 is a United States labor law that creates the right to a minimum wage, and “time-and-a-half” overtime pay when people work over forty hours a week.
Examples of Nurses facing Unfair Labor Practices.
Not only are some hospitals not paying their hourly staff correctly for overtime pay or 1 1/2 times pay for holidays, but there may be other possible FLSA violations taking place in hospitals.
- Automatic clock out for lunch. Meaning the hospital auto-deducts one hour for meal time. Many times nurses, especially emergency room nurses, may have to stop eating and deal with an emergency. They may have to walk away from eating in order to save lives.
- Exceeding a standard 40-Hour work week. In the case above, nurses who exceeded 40 hours and allowed to work from home were only paid $2 -$4 dollars an hour, not the promised 1 ½ times the base pay.
- Not being paid for break times. Simply put most state employment laws grant 2 – 15 minute breaks per 8 hour shift.
- Not being paid for overtime. Because of the dedication to their chosen health occupation, nurses don’t watch the clock; they prefer to simply help those in need. They should be paid for all overtime work.
- Retaliation for filing a claim or complaint against the hospital. (These are sometimes called “whistleblower” rights).
Public Health May be put at Risk from Hospital Work Violations.
Nursing is a noble profession and requires not only an advanced degree but dedication for helping people.
If nurses are not allowed or cheated out of much needed break times to eat or simply rest and re-charge this can cause nurses emotional, mental and physical stress.
Possible medical errors could happen because of the mentally drained state of the nurse. Examples may include over-medicating a patient, misreading doctor’s notes, or not delivering medications on time. Burnout is fairly common as well if nurses are forced to work long stretches against their will. This should not be allowed to happen in any hospital or health care facility.
I’m a Nurse Cheated out of Pay – Do I need a Labor Attorney?
If you’re a nurse and have experienced any form of labor problems at your hospital you have the right to question and hold your employer accountable for any Fair Labor Standards Act violations. We’re now accepting nursing labor rights violations and will work to correct these hospitals from taking you and others advantage of your work rights.
Take action like the seven nurses above by contacting us at 1-800-214-1010. You can also use the secure contact form on this page. Online evaluations are available here: https://daywageproblems.com