IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. MORAHAN, HANNON, ROBACH, BRUNO, ALESI, BONACIC, DeFRANCISCO, FLANAGAN, FUSCHILLO, GOLDEN, LANZA, LAVALLE, LEIBELL, LIBOUS, MARCELLINO, MAZIARZ, NOZZOLIO, SEWARD, SKELOS, TRUNZO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Gunther, Silver, John, Nolan, Clark, Colton, Eddington, Wright, Boyland, Ortiz, Fields, Towns, Ramos, Hoyt, Gabryszak, Greene, Christensen, Dinowitz, Weisenberg, Scarborough, Hooper, Jeffries, Pheffer, Stirpe, Gottfried, Peoples, Jaffee, Titus, Perry, Englebright, Schroeder, K. Zebrowski, Brook-Krasny, Powell, Young, Alfano, Barra, Brennan, Destito, L. Diaz, Duprey, Errigo, Giglio, Heastie, Jacobs, Koon, Lifton, Lupardo, Maisel, Mayersohn, McDonough, Miller, Millman, Peralta, Rabbitt, Reilly, J. Rivera, Rosenthal, Saladino, Spano, Sweeney, Walker, Weinstein) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Labor
AN ACT to amend the labor law and the education law, in relation to limiting consecutive hours of work by nurses
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. The Labor Law is amended by adding a new section 167 to read as follows:
S 167. RESTRICTIONS ON CONSECUTIVE HOURS OF WORK FOR NURSES.
1. When used in this Section:
A. "HEALTH CARE EMPLOYER" shall mean any individual, partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company or any person or group of persons acting directly or indirectly on behalf of or in the interest of the employer, which provides health care sevices (I) in a facility licensed or operated pursuant to Article 28 of the Public Health Law, including any facility operated by the state, a political subdivision or a public corporation as defined by Section 66 of the General Construction Law, or (II) in a facility operated by the state, a political subdivision or a public corporation as defined by Ssection 66 of the General Construction Law, operated or licensed pursuant to the Mental Hygiene Law, the Education Law or the Correction Law.
B. "NURSE" shall mean a registered professional nurse or a licensed practice nurse as defined by Article 139 of the Education Law who provides direct patient care.
C. "REGULARLY SCHEDULED WORK HOURS", including pre-scheduled on-call time and the time spent for the purpose of communicating shift reports regarding patient status necessary to ensure patient safety, shall mean those hours a nurse has agreed to work and is normally scheduled to work pursuant to the budgeted hours allocated to the nurse’s position by the health care employer; and if no such allocation system exists, some other measure generally used by the health care employer to determine when an employee is minimally supposed to work, consistent with the collective bargaining agreement, if any. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to permit an employer to use on-call time as a substitute for mandatory overtime.
2. A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law no health care employer shall require a nurse to work more than the nurse’s regularly scheduled work hours, except pursuant to Subdivision 3 of this Section.
B. Nothing is this Section shall prohibit a nurse from voluntarily working overtime.
3. The limitations provided for in this Section shall not apply in the case of:
A. A health care disaster, such as a natural or other type of disaster that increases the need for health care personnel, unexpectedly affecting the county in which the nurse is employed or a contiguous county; or
B. A federal, state, or county declaration of emergency in effect in the county in which the nurse is employed or in a contiguous county; or
C. Where a health care employer determines there is an emergency, necessary to provide safe patient care, in which case the health care provider shall, before requiring an on-duty nurse to remain, make a good faith effort to have overtime covered on a voluntary basis, including, but no limited to, calling per diems, agency nurses, assigning floats, or requesting an additional day of work from off-duty employees, to the extent such staffing options exist. For the purposes of this paragraph, “emergency,” including an unanticipated staffing emergency, is defined as an unforeseen event that could not be prudently planned for by an employer and does not regularly occur; or
D. An ongoing medical or surgical procedure in which the nurse is actively engaged and whose continued presence through the completion of the procedure is needed to ensure the health and safety of the patient..
4. The provisions of this section are intended as a remedial measure to protect the public health and the quality of patient care, and shall not be construed to diminish or waive any rights of any nurse pursuant to any other law, regulation, or collective bargaining agreement.
Section 2. The Education Law is amended by adding a new section 6510-e to read as follows:
S 6510-E. NURSES` REFUSAL OF OVERTIME WORK.
The refusal of a licensed practical nurse or a registered professional nurse to work beyond said nurse’s regularly scheduled hours of work shall not solely constitute patient abandonment or neglect except under the circumstances provided for under Subdivision 3 of Section 167 of the Labor Law.
Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009.