A New Ohio Bill Aims to End Forced Overtime for Nurses

Jan 8, 2018

The bill's author says he is talking with hospitals to make sure the legislation will not compromise patient safety.
Credit JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Often times, when nurses are at the end of their shifts, they will be asked if they can stay late. Sometimes it’s not a request but an implied order. But that practice has been questioned and now there’s a bill to change it.

Republican Rep. Robert Sprague says “forced overtime” is common for nurses.

“If they refuse to stay for another shift or half of another shift, to cover for someone else, or just because the staffing is insufficient, in some cases they are being threatened with termination of their employment or having their license revoked. And it’s a problem we’ve heard from nurses across the state,” he said.

Sprague’s bill would prevent hospitals from requiring nurses to work overtime to keep their jobs. He says he’s working with hospitals to make sure the bill strikes a balance between helping overworked nurses while not compromising patient safety.