This page is no longer used please use www.akleg.gov
26th Legislature(2009-2010)

Bill Text 26th Legislature


00                              HOUSE BILL NO. 50                                                                          
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 or coerced,                            
12       directly or indirectly,                                                                                           
13                 (1)  to work beyond a predetermined and regularly scheduled shift that                                  
14       is agreed to by the nurse and the health care facility;                                                           
15                 (2)  to work beyond 80 hours in a 14-day period; or                                                     
16                 (3)  to accept an assignment of overtime if, in the judgment of the                                     
17       nurse, the overtime would jeopardize patient or employee safety.                                                  
18            (b)  Except as provided by (c) of this section, after working a predetermined                                
19       and regularly scheduled shift that is agreed to by the nurse and the health care facility                         
20       as authorized by (a)(1) of this section, a nurse in a health care facility shall be allowed                       
21       not less than 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately following the end of                              
22       that work.                                                                                                        
23            (c)  Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to                                                        
24                 (1)  a nurse who is employed by a health care facility providing                                        
25       services for a school, school district, or other educational institution, when the nurse is                       
26       on duty for more than 14 consecutive hours during an occasional special event, such as                            
27       a field trip, that is sponsored by the employer;                                                                  
28                 (2)  a nurse voluntarily working overtime on an aircraft in use for                                     
29       medical transport, so long as the shift worked is allowable under regulations adopted                             
30       by the Board of Nursing based on accreditation standards adopted by the Commission                                
31       on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems;                                                                    
01                 (3)  a nurse on duty in overtime status because of an unforeseen                                        
02       emergency situation that could jeopardize patient safety; in this paragraph,                                      
03       "unforeseen emergency situation" means an unusual, unpredictable, or unforeseen                                   
04       situation caused by an act of terrorism, disease outbreak, natural disaster, major                                
05       disaster as defined in 42 U.S.C. 5122, or disaster emergency under AS 26.23.020 or                                
06       26.23.140, but does not include a situation in which a health care facility has                                   
07       reasonable knowledge of increased patient volume or inadequate staffing because of                                
08       some other cause, if that cause is foreseeable;                                                                   
09                 (4)  a nurse fulfilling on-call time that is agreed on by the nurse and a                               
10       health care facility before it is scheduled;                                                                      
11                 (5)  a nurse voluntarily working overtime so long as the work is                                        
12       consistent with professional standards and safe patient care and does not exceed 14                               
13       consecutive hours;                                                                                                
14                 (6)  a nurse voluntarily working beyond 80 hours in a 14-day period so                                  
15       long as the nurse does not work more than 14 consecutive hours without a 10-hour                                  
16       break and the work is consistent with professional standards and safe patient care;                               
17                 (7)  the first hour on overtime status when the health care facility is                                 
18       obtaining another nurse to work in place of the nurse in overtime status.                                         
19            Sec. 18.20.410. Health care facility complaint process for overtime work                                   
20       by nurses. A health care facility shall provide for an anonymous process by which a                             
21       patient or a nurse may make a complaint about staffing levels and patient safety that                             
22       relate to overtime work by nurses and to limitations on overtime work by nurses under                             
23       AS 18.20.400.                                                                                                     
24            Sec. 18.20.420. Enforcement, offenses, and penalties. (a) The commissioner                                 
25       shall administer AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 and adopt regulations for implementing and                              
26       enforcing AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449.                                                                               
27            (b)  A complaint alleging a violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 must be filed                              
28       with the commissioner within 30 days after the date of the alleged violation. The                                 
29       commissioner shall provide a copy of the complaint to the health care facility named                              
30       in the filing within three business days after receiving the complaint.                                           
31            (c)  If the commissioner finds that a health care facility has knowingly violated                            
01       an overtime provision of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449, the following civil penalties shall                            
02       apply:                                                                                                            
03                 (1)  for a first violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449, the commissioner                                
04       shall reprimand the health care facility;                                                                         
05                 (2)  for a second violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 within 12                                       
06       months, the commissioner shall reprimand the health care facility and assess a penalty                            
07       of $500;                                                                                                          
08                 (3)  for a third violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 within 12 months,                                
09       the commissioner shall reprimand the health care facility and assess a penalty of not                             
10       less than $2,500 but not more than $5,000;                                                                        
11                 (4)  for each violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 after a third                                       
12       violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 within 12 months, the commissioner shall                                    
13       reprimand the health care facility and assess a penalty of not less than $5,000 but not                           
14       more than $25,000.                                                                                                
15            (d)  As an employer, a health care facility violates an overtime provision of                                
16       AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449 "knowingly" when the facility is either aware that its                                   
17       conduct is of a nature prohibited by the overtime provision or aware that the                                     
18       circumstances described in the overtime prohibition exist; however, when knowledge                                
19       of the existence of a particular fact is required to establish that the violation was                             
20       knowing, that knowledge exists when the facility is aware of a substantial probability                            
21       of its existence, unless the facility reasonably believes it does not exist.                                      
22            Sec. 18.20.430. Prohibition of retaliation. A health care facility may not                                 
23       discharge, discipline, threaten, discriminate against, penalize, or file a report with the                        
24       Board of Nursing against a nurse for exercising rights under AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449                             
25       or for the good faith reporting of an alleged violation of AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449.                              
26            Sec. 18.20.440. Enforcement of prohibition against retaliation. The                                        
27       commissioner shall investigate every complaint alleging a violation of AS 18.20.430,                              
28       and, within 90 days after the date of filing of the complaint, provide to the                                     
29       complainant, the Department of Law, and the health care facility named in the                                     
30       complaint a written determination as to whether the health care facility violated                                 
31       AS 18.20.430. If the commissioner finds a violation of AS 18.20.430, the                                          
01       commissioner shall request that the Department of Law represent the department and                                
02       the complainant and obtain from the health care facility all appropriate relief,                                  
03       including rehiring or reinstatement of the complainant to the complainant's former                                
04       position with back pay.                                                                                           
05            Sec. 18.20.445. Report requirements. A health care facility shall file with the                            
06       division of labor standards and safety, Department of Labor and Workforce                                         
07       Development, a semiannual report. The report for the six-month period ending June 30                              
08       must be filed before the following August 1, and the report for the six-month period                              
09       ending December 31 must be filed before the following February 1. The report must                                 
10       include, for each nurse employed by the health care facility or under contract with the                           
11       health care facility, the number of overtime hours worked, the number of overtime                                 
12       hours that were mandatory, the number of overtime hours that were voluntary, the                                  
13       number of on-call hours, the number of on-call hours that were mandatory, and the                                 
14       number of on-call hours that were voluntary.                                                                      
15            Sec. 18.20.449. Definitions. In AS 18.20.400 - 18.20.449,                                                  
16                 (1)  "commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and workforce                                       
17       development;                                                                                                      
18                 (2)  "health care facility" means a private, municipal, state, or federal                               
19       hospital; psychiatric hospital; independent diagnostic testing facility; residential                              
20       psychiatric treatment center, as defined in AS 18.07.111; skilled nursing facility;                               
21       kidney disease treatment center, including freestanding hemodialysis units;                                       
22       intermediate care facility; ambulatory surgical facility; Alaska Pioneers' Home or                                
23       Alaska Veterans' Home administered by the Department of Health and Social Services                                
24       under AS 47.55; correctional facility owned or administered by the state; juvenile                                
25       detention facility, juvenile detention home, juvenile work camp, or treatment facility,                           
26       as defined in AS 47.12.990; private, municipal, state, or federal facility employing one                          
27       or more public health nurses; long-term care facility; or primary care outpatient                                 
28       facility;                                                                                                         
29                 (3)  "nurse" means an individual licensed to practice registered nursing                                
30       or practical nursing under AS 08.68 who provides nursing services through direct                                  
31       patient care or clinical services and includes a nurse manager when delivering in-                                
01       hospital patient care;                                                                                            
02                 (4)  "on-call" means a status in which a nurse must be ready to report to                               
03       the health care facility and may be called to work by the health care facility;                                   
04                 (5)  "overtime" means the hours worked in excess of a predetermined                                     
05       and regularly scheduled shift that is agreed to by a nurse and a health care facility.                            
06    * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                          
07 read:                                                                                                                   
08       APPLICABILITY. The first report required to be filed under AS 18.20.445, enacted in                               
09 sec. 2 of this Act, shall be filed before February 1, 2010, for the period July 1, 2009, through                        
10 December 31, 2009.                                                                                                      
11    * Sec. 4. AS 18.20.445, enacted in sec. 2 of this Act, and sec. 3 of this Act take effect                          
12 July 1, 2009.                                                                                                           
13    * Sec. 5. Except as provided in sec. 4 of this Act, this Act takes effect January 1, 2010.                       
New Text Underlined     [DELETED TEXT BRACKETED]