New York restricts mandatory overtime for nurses

Healthcare employers in New York may no longer require nurses to work more than their regularly scheduled hours, with some exceptions, under a new law that took effect July 6. 

Employers must notify the New York State Department of Labor when exceptions to the mandatory overtime restrictions are in use. The state said exceptions are permitted during unforeseen emergency situations or disasters, along with any instance when overtime work is necessary for safe patient care, such as during an ongoing surgery.

Healthcare organizations must report when exceptions are in use, with additional reporting required when exceptions are used for 15 days or more in a given month and 45 days or more in a consecutive three-month period, according to the labor department. 

"Nurses are the backbone of our state's healthcare system," New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a July 6 news release. "We need to recognize their invaluable contributions by ensuring they have the support and protections they need to do their job effectively. This new law prevents burnout and empowers these essential workers to continue providing exceptional care to New York families statewide."

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