The Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal labor law that outlines the rules for minimum wage and overtime, says that the vast majority of American workers should be paid at premium rates for working extra hours.
But the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t set any limit on how many hours an employee can work in a week, and most employers are well within their legal rights requiring employees to work overtime.
Not only does mandatory overtime exploit nurses, it threatens patient safety.
Numerous studies have found that increasing a nurse’s hours raises the risk of errors and adverse events.
For purposes of this paragraph, "essential services" means those services that are basic or indispensable and are provided to the public as a whole, including, but not limited to, utility service, snowplowing, road maintenance and telecommunications service; An employee of a seasonal employer.
This exception applies to contractors of the employer that are providing services related to the activities in this paragraph.
It does not apply to other operations not involved in the work stated in this paragraph.
Notwithstanding this paragraph, a worker may not be required to work beyond the limits prescribed in subsection 2 for more than 4 consecutive weeks.
Notwithstanding subsection 2, a nurse may not be disciplined for refusing to work more than 12 consecutive hours.
Exceptions exist for the completion of procedures and emergency situations.