Act 102–a reprieve for health care workers.

In 2015, a healthcare employee was terminated for regular refusal to work mandatory overtime. According to the health care employee, when asked to work overtime, the employee explained that she was unable to work overtime due to lack of childcare. However, the hospital had a policy that direct health care workers mandatory overtimewere required to work overtime. The policy also states that an employee would be terminated after the fourth refusal of overtime.  The employee also claims that she informed the hospital that they were in violation of Act 102 or the Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act. However, after her fourth refusal to work mandated overtime the hospital held with their policy and terminated the health care worker. The former employee turned around and filed a suit against her former employer for wrongful termination in violation of Act 102.

Despite the hospital’s policy, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in favor of the healthcare worker awarding her monetary damages and an order to reinstate her former position.

If you’re a healthcare worker, and you’re unaware of the Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act, it’s time to get informed!

Healthcare Workers and Mandatory Overtime

What are the laws regarding mandatory overtime in PA?

Generally, an employer can require an employee to work mandatory overtime, and if the employee refuses they can be subject to disciplinary actions or possible termination. In the cases of health care workers, the laws have changed.

In 2009, the Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act took effect. Act 102 prohibits health care facilities from mandating that their employees work more than their regular, agreed upon, or predetermined schedules unless the employee voluntarily accepts the extra hours.

What are the exceptions to  Act 102?

  • on-call time
  • in cases of emergency circumstances such as a natural disaster that requires all hands on deck for an indefinite amount of time
  • A health care worker must stay after their regularly scheduled time if a patient care procedure is still in progress, and the shift change could negatively affect the patient procedure.

Who is a protected employee under Act 102?

  • Employees that are involved in direct patient care or clinical care services
  • An hourly employee or an employee that is classified as non-supervisory
  • An individual employed by a healthcare facility, government entity, or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its agencies.

If you’re been retaliated against because you refused to work mandatory overtime, then it’s time to call the Law Offices of Thomas More Holland at (215)592-8080.