Is an agency required to pay overtime for time worked over 40 hours per week? What if I worked at different hospitals, but my work hours added up to more than 40 hours in one week? What if these hospitals are affiliated? Are they required to pay the agency overtime for over 40 hours per week? My agency says if they cant bill for the overtime from the hospital, they wont pay me for overtime.
Nancy Brent replies:
The question submitted is a little unclear, but suffice it so say the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires all employees who work more than 40 hours per week be paid overtime for that time above the 40 hours. The Act defines the normal work week as 40 hours in seven days, based on an eight-hour day. State laws also require this.
One exception to this requirement in healthcare is if the facility and its healthcare employees have entered into what is called an 8-80 plan. Under such a plan, a 14-day work week is the basis upon which overtime is determined. As a result, the employee is paid overtime for any hours worked in excess of 80 in the 14-day period. However, if the employee works an excess of eight hours in one day, under this plan the employer must pay overtime rates to the employee.
If you think you are not being paid overtime when you have earned it, you might contact the state Department of Labor (wage and hour division) to determine if the current practice is in conformity with the law. If it is not, a consultation with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who works with employees can best advise you how to proceed.