Governor Rendell bans mandatory overtime for PA nurses
Patient care in Pennsylvania will be better protected as new legislation bans mandatory overtime for nurses. Legislation passed by the House and Senate in October, and signed by Governor Ed Rendell prevents health care facilities from using mandatory overtime to manage chronic understaffing.
"Today we are achieving something that is long overdue," said Rendell. "Nurses are overworked and over-tired because of mandatory overtime. This legislation will reduce medical errors and increase patient safety. It represents nurses' importance to Pennsylvania."
The ban will go into effect in July 2009. The legislation allows the Department of Labor and Industry to assess fines of $100 to $1,000 for each violation of the overtime ban.
"The legislature and governor have taken an important step to protecting patient safety today," said PSEA President James P. Testerman. "Hospitals who continually use mandatory overtime to meet staffing needs will no longer force nurses to stay on duty past their regular shifts, and compromise their ability to meet the needs of their patients. Protections like these for our health care employees will benefit the health and welfare of all Pennsylvanians."