Although nurses are expected to put in the long hours required to make sure patients are cared for properly, many nurses are not properly paid for the overtime hours they put in every week. Overtime pay for nurses can be complicated, and many nurses and healthcare workers are tempted to chalk up those lost hours as just “part of the job” they signed up for when entering the patient-care industry.
Is Unpaid Overtime Just a Part of a Nurse’s Duties?
Generally, under state and federal laws, you deserve to be paid for the time you put in—including time-and-a-half pay for any hours you work over 40 each week. Unfortunately, many employers are in violation of these laws, and many healthcare employees are unaware of their rights or fear pursuing their unpaid overtime.
Although nurses are commonly expected to work long hours, unpaid overtime is rampant in the nursing industry. As an example, here are some unpaid situations that many nurses write off as “part of the job,” even though they may be entitled to appropriate compensation:
- Coming in early. Are you expected to come in early and perform job duties off the clock? You deserve to be paid for the time you are required to be at work, and those hours should also count in calculating your weekly overtime hours.
- Staying late. Nursing can be unpredictable, and you can’t just walk away from a patient or skip important medical documentation because your shift was supposed to end five minutes ago. If you find yourself staying late and working hours you aren’t paid appropriately for, then there’s a good chance you have a claim.
- Working through your unpaid breaks. If your employer automatically deducts your lunch hour each day, but you usually end up eating lunch at your desk, then there’s a good chance that you are entitled to regular or overtime pay for those hours.
If you have questions about overtime pay for nurses, please reach out to an experienced Houston overtime attorney with Kennedy Hodges today at 888-449-2068 to schedule a completely free, no-obligation consultation to review your claim. Additionally, we recommend you read through our important book, 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage & Overtime Claim, which explains what you need to know about protecting your rights if you believe your employer has violated state or federal wage laws.