DiGirolamo Applauds Movement on Nursing Overtime Ban
Legislation now heads to governor to be signed into law
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) today applauded House and Senate passage of legislation that protects patients in Pennsylvania by prohibiting the use of mandatory overtime for nurses and other providers of direct care.
“This is a clear victory for Pennsylvania families and patient safety efforts as errors in health care are greatly reduced when nurses and other direct care workers are not subject to work mandatory and excessive overtime,” said DiGirolamo, who was a co-sponsor of House Bill 834 and is Republican chairman of the House Labor Relations Committee.  “I am hopeful this ban will encourage more individuals to consider nursing as their chosen career and help ease the shortage our communities face of these dedicated professionals.”
House Bill 834, which is now on its way to the governor to be signed into law, prohibits public and private health care facilities from requiring an employee who provides direct patient care or clinical care services to work in excess of an agreed to and regularly scheduled daily work shift. The employee can voluntarily agree to additional shifts, but any care worker who refuses the shift cannot be terminated, discriminated against or be subject to any adverse employment actions.
“Nurses should be given the assurance of state law that they won’t be drafted into mandatory service well beyond their work shifts just as a way to address holes in employee scheduling,” DiGirolamo added. “This is an issue important to the nursing industry, and it greatly impacts the quality of their lives and enhances the type of care they deliver to patients each and every day.”
Exceptions were written into the bill so that nurses could be subject to mandatory overtime in cases of unpredictable or unavoidable event, such as an act of terrorism, a natural disaster or a widespread disease outbreak. The ban will not apply to nurses who are in the middle of a patient care procedure when their shift has ended as the procedure must be completed before going home.
Once enacted, the ban will be effective in July 2009, and employers will face fines between $100 and $1,000 for each violation.
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo
18th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(215) 750-1017
(717) 783-7319
Contact: Jennifer Algoe Keaton
(717) 705-2094
Member site: GeneDigirolamo.com
Caucus site:  PAHouseGOP.com