HB 271: "An Act relating to limitations on overtime for registered nurses in health care facilities; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 271 01 "An Act relating to limitations on overtime for registered nurses in health care facilities; 02 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 providing direct patient care be 08 available to meet the needs of patients; 09 (2) quality patient care is jeopardized by registered nurses who work 10 unnecessarily long hours in health care facilities; 11 (3) registered nurses are leaving their profession because of workplace 12 stresses, long work hours, and depreciation of their essential role in the delivery of quality and 13 direct patient care; 14 (4) it is necessary to safeguard the efficiency, health, and general well-being
01 of registered nurses and the health and general well-being of the persons receiving care from 02 registered nurses in health care facilities; 03 (5) it is necessary that registered nurses be made aware of their rights, duties, 04 and remedies concerning hours worked and patient safety; and 05 (6) health care facilities should provide adequate and safe nursing staffing 06 without the need for or use of mandatory overtime. 07 * Sec. 2. AS 18 is amended by adding a new chapter to read: 08 Chapter 09. Overtime Limitations for Registered Nurses. 09 Sec. 18.09.010. Limitations on nursing overtime. (a) Except as provided in 10 (b) of this section, a nurse in a health care facility may not be required or coerced, 11 either directly or indirectly, to accept an assignment of overtime if, in the judgment of 12 the nurse, the overtime would jeopardize patient or employee safety. 13 (b) This section does not apply to 14 (1) a nurse on duty in overtime status because of an unforeseen 15 emergency situation that could otherwise jeopardize patient safety; 16 (2) a nurse fulfilling prescheduled on-call time; 17 (3) a nurse voluntarily working overtime; 18 (4) the first hour on overtime status when the health care facility is 19 obtaining another nurse to work in place of the nurse in overtime status; 20 (5) a critical access hospital. 21 (c) After working 12 or more consecutive hours, a nurse shall be allowed not 22 less than eight consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately following the end of 23 that period of duty. 24 (d) A health care facility shall provide for an anonymous process for patients 25 and nurses to make complaints related to staffing levels and patient safety. 26 (e) In this section, 27 (1) "critical access hospital" has the meaning in 42 U.S.C. 28 1395x(mm)(1); 29 (2) "unforeseen emergency situation" means an unusual, unpredictable, 30 or unforeseen situation caused by an act of terrorism, disease outbreak, natural 31 disaster, or other act of God, but does not include a situation in which a health care
01 facility has reasonable knowledge of increased patient volume or inadequate staffing 02 because of staff scheduling, vacations, medical leave, or other foreseeable cause. 03 Sec. 18.09.020. Prohibition of retaliation. A health care facility may not 04 discharge, discipline, threaten, discriminate against, penalize, or file a report with the 05 Board of Nursing against a nurse for exercising rights under this chapter or for the 06 good faith reporting of an alleged violation of this chapter. 07 Sec. 18.09.030. Enforcement, offenses, and penalties. (a) The 08 commissioner shall administer this chapter and adopt regulations for implementing 09 and enforcing this chapter. 10 (b) A complaint alleging a violation of this chapter must be filed with the 11 commissioner within 30 days following the date of the alleged violation. The 12 commissioner shall provide a copy of the complaint to the health care facility named 13 in the filing within three business days after receiving the complaint. 14 (c) Upon a finding by the commissioner that a health care facility has violated 15 a provision of this chapter, the following civil penalties shall apply: 16 (1) for a first violation of this chapter, the health care facility shall 17 receive a reprimand and shall pay a nurse required to work in violation of this chapter 18 three times the nurse's hourly compensation for each hour worked in violation of this 19 chapter; 20 (2) for a second violation of this chapter within 12 months, the health 21 care facility shall receive a reprimand, shall be assessed a penalty of $500, and shall 22 pay a nurse required to work in violation of this chapter three times the nurse's hourly 23 compensation for each hour worked in violation of this chapter; 24 (3) for a third violation of this chapter within 12 months, the health 25 care facility shall be assessed a penalty of not less than $2,500 but not more than 26 $5,000 for each violation and shall pay a nurse required to work in violation of this 27 chapter three times the nurse's hourly compensation for each hour worked in violation 28 of this chapter. 29 (d) In this section, "commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and 30 workforce development. 31 Sec. 18.09.900. Definitions. In this chapter,
01 (1) "health care facility" means a private, municipal, state, or federal 02 hospital; psychiatric hospital; independent diagnostic testing facility; residential 03 psychiatric treatment center; skilled nursing facility; kidney disease treatment center 04 (including freestanding hemodialysis units); intermediate care facility; ambulatory 05 surgical facility; Alaska Pioneers' Home or Alaska Veterans' Home administered by 06 the Department of Health and Social Services under AS 47.55; correctional facility 07 administered by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Health and 08 Social Services; private, municipal, state, or federal facility employing one or more 09 public health nurses; long-term care facility; or primary care outpatient facility; 10 (2) "nurse" means an individual licensed to practice registered nursing 11 under AS 08.68 who provides nursing services through direct patient care or clinical 12 services and includes a nurse manager when delivering in-hospital patient care; 13 (3) "overtime" means the hours worked in excess of a predetermined 14 and regularly scheduled shift that is agreed upon by a nurse and a health care facility. 15 * Sec. 3. This Act takes effect January 1, 2006.