powered by LeadingAge New York

Oppose Restrictions on Mandatory Nurse Overtime in Home Care

LeadingAge New York opposes legislation which would have negative effects on individuals in need of home health services. The below-referenced bill proposes restricting the use of mandatory nurse overtime in home health care settings. If this bill is approved along with two other similar bills that are awaiting delivery to the Governor, it could also result in enhanced penalties on home care providers that mandate nurse overtime.

While we agree that overtime should be a last resort for hard-working nurses, the enactment of this legislation in the context of statewide nursing shortages will only reduce access to long-term care and home health care services, jeopardizing the well-being of patients and individuals in need of these services.

 This bill, soon to be before the Governor for signature or veto, amends section 167 of the Labor Law, which currently prohibits health care facilities from requiring nurses to work beyond their regularly scheduled hours, except under limited circumstances, such as a natural disaster, a federal or state health care emergency, a provider-determined emergency, or an ongoing medical or surgical procedure. The bills amend section 167 as follows:

  • A.181-A/S.4885-A (Gunther/Savino) adds home care agencies and visits to the current law, thereby prohibiting home care agencies from requiring a registered professional nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to work more than that nurse’s regularly scheduled work hours and home care visits.  LeadingAge NY memo of opposition available here.

LeadingAge New York urges a veto of this legislation. Mandating overtime is always a last resort for health care providers, but is at times necessary to ensure the delivery of high-quality care to patients. Unfortunately, the bill disregards the chronic workforce shortages and the rising needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities who are seeking home care services. As the State aims to promote community-based care and meet the growing demands for these services, we cannot at the same time penalize providers for doing their best to meet the needs of the people they serve in the community.

LeadingAge NY has written a comprehensive letter to the Governor on this bill as well as two others that would impose enhanced penalties for the use of mandatory overtime in a variety of settings. Because all three bills were passed by the Legislature and are awaiting delivery to the Governor, LeadingAge NY addressed all three bills in the letter, and urged that each be vetoed.  That letter to the Governor is available here.

Enter your information below to join us in urging the Governor to VETO this bill that would impose restrictions on the use of mandatory nurse overtime in home care.