CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – State Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, is introducing legislation that would prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses as a condition of employment.
Cutrona sites various studies from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health that show excess overtime can result in negative outcomes.
The issue has been at the heart of many local labor disputes among nurses unions.
Cutrona says nurses can still voluntarily work overtime and hospitals can still offer overtime, but the bill prohibits hospitals from requiring a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to work in excess of agreed upon, predetermined, scheduled full-time or part-time workweek as a condition of continued employment.
House Bill 144 passed in the previous General Assembly by a vote of 80-13 and was led by former 59th Ohio House District State Representative Don Manning.
“I’m proud to carry on the work of the late and great Don Manning,” said Cutrona. “We’ve seen reports that employers have threatened disciplinary action if nurses do not work unscheduled overtime. This bill codifies that nurses cannot be forced into overtime. Being overworked and fatigued within the medical field can lead to unintended consequences for both nurses and patients alike. We need to make sure that both our nurses and patients are taken care of in this respect.”
The bill is currently seeking cosponsors and awaits introduction.