New York amended its labor law restricting healthcare employers from adding mandatory overtime to nursing staff schedules with few exceptions. The changes come after Gov. Hochul signed a law in late 2022 amending state labor law §167 and will go into effect in February 2023.
According to the amendment, healthcare employers include:
- Healthcare treatment centers
- Nursing homes
- State-operated healthcare facilities
There are, however, exceptions applicable to the amendment.
The exceptions to the new amendment are:
- A healthcare disaster that justifies the need for increased personnel
- An official federal, state or local declaration of emergency
- An unforeseen emergency related to safe patient care
- A justifiable medical situation, case or procedure
Outside of these narrow exceptions, violators will be subject to penalties.
Penalties for violations
The penalties for violating the amendment include:
- $1,000 fine for a first violation
- $2,000 fine for a second violation
- $3,000 fine for a third violation
- Additional 15% overtime payment to staff
The response from the healthcare industry and healthcare staff has been mixed, with some supporting the measure and others opposing it.
Healthcare industry representatives oppose the measure, arguing that staff shortages and budget cuts are already stretching the industry and that further restrictions would only make things harder for them.
In addition, high wage and hour requirements have led to more challenges for the industry, limiting their recruiting and incentive budgets.
Healthcare employers will have to make these changes starting in February of 2023. They will have to report information to the state via a new reporting system.