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What can I do about a RN who works off the clock ?

Dear Nancy,

What can I do about a RN co-worker who works off the clock every morning? I know it’s illegal, and I have reported it twice, yet management has yet to deal with it. We work in a surgicenter and there is no need to come in early to get set up.

Mary Lou

Dear Mary Lou,

It is unclear what your concern is about this co-worker coming in early and working off the clock, especially since you have reported it twice to your superiors. Management should be concerned since the worker is not required to be there, according to your statement, so they face potential problems. If, for example, the worker is injured while there off the clock and a worker’s compensation claim is filed, the question as to why the worker was allowed to continue to come in early will be raised if the employer challenges the claim as “not arising out of and during the course of employment.”

If the worker is not required to be at the center to set up or do other work, why is he or she doing this? Is there an easier access to drugs, for example, if one comes in early and is not observed by others? Is there something else sinister going on?

Perhaps speaking with your nurse manager about this situation might help. Your nurse manager can then speak to management about the situation in the hopes something can be done. It appears that, lacking any additional information you have about why this co-worker continues to do this, there is little else you can do.

Regards, Nancy

By | 2015-05-13T21:14:33-04:00 May 8th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, National, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.

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