Update Applicable to:
All healthcare employers (includes hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic treatment centers, and certain state-operated facilities, while “nurses” include both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs)).
Under two amendments to its law regulating consecutive hours of work for nurses (Labor Law Section 167), New York has established monetary penalties for violations of the law and placed reporting requirements and other restrictions on healthcare employers that require nurses to work beyond their regularly scheduled hours.
What are the details?
Section 167 has been in effect for more than a decade. It restricts healthcare employers from requiring nurses to work beyond their scheduled work hours, except where there is:
- A healthcare disaster that increases the need for healthcare personnel;
- A federal, state, or county declaration of emergency;
- An unforeseen emergency and necessity to provide safe patient care that could not be prudently planned for by the employer and does not regularly occur; or
- An ongoing medical or surgical procedure in which the nurse is actively engaged and whose continued presence is needed to ensure the health and safety of the patient.
A December 2022 amendment (Assembly Bill 286) to Section 167 established monetary penalties for violations of the Section, to be assessed by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).
Now, a second amendment (Assembly Bill 970), enacted on March 3, 2023, requires a healthcare employer to self-report to the NYSDOL and the Department of Health when it mandates additional work hours under one of the exceptional circumstances, if that mandate exists for at least 15 days in a month.
The NYSDOL also must make a poster available on its website, informing employees of the complaint-filing process. Affected healthcare facilities must display the poster in a conspicuous location accessible to employees.
The reporting and revised penalty provisions go into effect June 28, 2023. The DOL may issue regulations to implement these new provisions.
For more information, visit the following:
What do employers need to do?
The Jackson Lewis law firm urges employers to consult with employment counsel to determine how their facilities may be affected by the new law and how to comply while addressing specific organizational needs effectively.
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