HB 51: "An Act relating to limitations on mandatory overtime for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in health care facilities; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 51 01 "An Act relating to limitations on mandatory overtime for registered nurses and 02 licensed practical nurses in health care facilities; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT. The legislature finds that 07 (1) it is essential that registered nurses and licensed practical nurses providing 08 direct patient care be available to meet the needs of patients; 09 (2) quality patient care is jeopardized by registered nurses and licensed 10 practical nurses who work unnecessarily long hours in health care facilities; 11 (3) registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are leaving their profession 12 because of workplace stresses, long work hours, and depreciation of their essential role in the 13 delivery of quality and direct patient care; 14 (4) it is necessary to safeguard the efficiency, health, and general well-being
01 of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, and the health and general well-being of the 02 persons receiving care from registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in health care 03 facilities; 04 (5) it is necessary that registered nurses and licensed practical nurses be made 05 aware of their rights, duties, and remedies concerning hours worked and patient safety; and 06 (6) health care facilities should provide adequate and safe nurse staffing 07 without the need for or use of mandatory overtime. 08 * Sec. 2. AS 18.20 is amended by adding new sections to read: 09 Article 4. Overtime Limitations for Nurses. 10 Sec. 18.20.400. Limitations on nursing overtime. (a) Except as provided in 11 (c) of this section, a nurse in a health care facility may not be required 12 (1) to work beyond a predetermined and regularly scheduled shift that 13 is agreed to by the nurse and the health care facility; 14 (2) to work beyond 80 hours in a 14-day period; or 15 (3) to accept an assignment of overtime if, in the judgment of the 16 nurse, the overtime would jeopardize patient or employee safety. 17 (b) Except as provided by (c) of this section, after working a predetermined 18 and regularly scheduled shift that is agreed to by the nurse and the health care facility 19 as authorized by (a)(1) of this section, a nurse in a health care facility shall be allowed 20 not less than 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately following the end of 21 that work. 22 (c) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to 23 (1) a nurse who is employed by a health care facility providing 24 services for a school, school district, or other educational institution, when the nurse is 25 on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours during an occasional special event, such as 26 a field trip, that is sponsored by the employer; 27 (2) a nurse voluntarily working overtime on an aircraft in use for 28 medical transport, so long as the shift worked is allowable under regulations adopted 29 by the Board of Nursing based on accreditation standards adopted by the Commission 30 on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems; 31 (3) a nurse on duty in overtime status because of an unforeseen
01 emergency situation that could jeopardize patient safety; in this paragraph, 02 "unforeseen emergency situation" means an unusual, unpredictable, or unforeseen 03 situation caused by an act of terrorism, disease outbreak, natural disaster, weather, 04 major disaster as defined in 42 U.S.C. 5122, or disaster emergency under 05 AS 26.23.020 or 26.23.140, but does not include a situation in which a health care 06 facility has reasonable knowledge of increased patient volume or inadequate staffing 07 because of some other cause, if that cause is foreseeable; 08 (4) a nurse fulfilling on-call time that is agreed on by the nurse and a 09 health care facility before it is scheduled; 10 (5) a nurse voluntarily working overtime so long as the work is 11 consistent with professional standards and safe patient care and does not exceed 14 12 consecutive hours; 13 (6) a nurse voluntarily working beyond 80 hours in a 14-day period so 14 long as the nurse does not work more than 14 consecutive hours without a 10-hour 15 break and the work is consistent with professional standards and safe patient care; 16 (7) a nurse at a residential psychiatric treatment center who agrees to 17 work under a contract that requires the employer to provide full-time pay and benefits 18 equivalent to the pay and benefits for a 40-hour workweek if the nurse works a 19 weekend schedule of four eight-hour shifts with not more than 16 consecutive hours 20 on duty without a break of at least eight hours; in this paragraph, a "weekend" means 21 the period that begins Friday at 5:00 p.m. and ends Monday at 8:00 a.m.; 22 (8) the first hour on overtime status when the health care facility is 23 obtaining another nurse to work in place of the nurse in overtime status. 24 Sec. 18.20.410. Health care facility complaint process for overtime work 25 by nurses. A health care facility shall provide for an anonymous process by which a 26 patient or a nurse may make a complaint about staffing levels and patient safety that 27 relate to overtime work by nurses and to limitations on overtime work by nurses under 28 AS 18.20.400. 29 Sec. 18.20.420. Enforcement, offenses, and penalties. (a) The commissioner 30 shall administer AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 and adopt regulations for implementing and 31 enforcing AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449.
01 (b) A complaint alleging a violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 must be filed 02 with the commissioner within 30 days after the date of the alleged violation. The 03 commissioner shall provide a copy of the complaint to the health care facility named 04 in the filing within three business days after receiving the complaint. 05 (c) If the commissioner finds that a health care facility has knowingly violated 06 an overtime provision of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449, the following civil penalties shall 07 apply: 08 (1) for a first violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449, the commissioner 09 shall reprimand the health care facility; 10 (2) for a second violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 within 12 11 months, the commissioner shall reprimand the health care facility and assess a penalty 12 of $500; 13 (3) for a third violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 within 12 months, 14 the commissioner shall reprimand the health care facility and assess a penalty of not 15 less than $2,500 but not more than $5,000; 16 (4) for each violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 after a third 17 violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 within 12 months, the commissioner shall 18 reprimand the health care facility and assess a penalty of not less than $5,000 but not 19 more than $25,000. 20 (d) As an employer, a health care facility violates an overtime provision of 21 AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 "knowingly" when the facility is either aware that its 22 conduct is of a nature prohibited by the overtime provision or aware that the 23 circumstances described in the overtime prohibition exist; however, when knowledge 24 of the existence of a particular fact is required to establish that the violation was 25 knowing, that knowledge exists when the facility is aware of a substantial probability 26 of its existence, unless the facility reasonably believes it does not exist. 27 Sec. 18.20.430. Prohibition of retaliation. A health care facility may not 28 discharge, discipline, threaten, discriminate against, penalize, or file a report with the 29 Board of Nursing against a nurse for exercising rights under AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 30 or for the good faith reporting of an alleged violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449. 31 Sec. 18.20.440. Enforcement of prohibition against retaliation. The
01 commissioner shall investigate every complaint alleging a violation of AS 18.20.430, 02 and, within 90 days after the date of filing of the complaint, provide to the 03 complainant, the Department of Law, and the health care facility named in the 04 complaint a written determination as to whether the health care facility violated 05 AS 18.20.430. If the commissioner finds a violation of AS 18.20.430, the 06 commissioner shall request that the Department of Law represent the department and 07 the complainant and obtain from the health care facility all appropriate relief, 08 including rehiring or reinstatement of the complainant to the complainant's former 09 position with back pay. 10 Sec. 18.20.445. Report requirements. A health care facility shall file with the 11 division of labor standards and safety, Department of Labor and Workforce 12 Development, a semiannual report. The report for the six-month period ending June 30 13 must be filed before the following August 1, and the report for the six-month period 14 ending December 31 must be filed before the following February 1. The report must 15 include, for each nurse employed by the health care facility or under contract with the 16 health care facility, the number of overtime hours worked, the number of overtime 17 hours that were mandatory, the number of overtime hours that were voluntary, the 18 number of on-call hours, the number of on-call hours that were mandatory, and the 19 number of on-call hours that were voluntary. 20 Sec. 18.20.449. Definitions. In AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449, 21 (1) "commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and workforce 22 development; 23 (2) "health care facility" means a private, municipal, state, or federal 24 hospital; psychiatric hospital; independent diagnostic testing facility; residential 25 psychiatric treatment center; skilled nursing facility; kidney disease treatment center, 26 including freestanding hemodialysis units; intermediate care facility; ambulatory 27 surgical facility; Alaska Pioneers' Home or Alaska Veterans' Home administered by 28 the Department of Health and Social Services under AS 47.55; correctional facility 29 owned or administered by the state; juvenile detention facility, juvenile detention 30 home, juvenile work camp, or treatment facility, as defined in AS 47.12.990; private, 31 municipal, state, or federal facility employing one or more public health nurses; long-
01 term care facility; or primary care outpatient facility; 02 (3) "nurse" means an individual licensed to practice registered nursing 03 or practical nursing under AS 08.68 who provides nursing services through direct 04 patient care or clinical services and includes a nurse manager when delivering in- 05 hospital patient care; 06 (4) "on-call" means a status in which a nurse must be ready to report to 07 the health care facility and may be called to work by the health care facility; 08 (5) "overtime" means the hours worked in excess of a predetermined 09 and regularly scheduled shift that is agreed to by a nurse and a health care facility; 10 (6) "residential psychiatric treatment center" has the meaning given in 11 AS 18.07.111. 12 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 13 read: 14 APPLICABILITY. The first report required to be filed under AS 18.20.445, enacted in 15 sec. 2 of this Act, shall be filed before February 1, 2010, for the period July 1, 2009, through 16 December 31, 2009. 17 * Sec. 4. AS 18.20.445, enacted in sec. 2 of this Act, and sec. 3 of this Act take effect 18 July 1, 2009. 19 * Sec. 5. Except as provided in sec. 4 of this Act, this Act takes effect January 1, 2010.