California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Good evening Sue, I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have represented nurses in actions against hospitals and nursing facilities on many occasions, and my wife is a hospital nurse, so I understand how the health care employment situation is, and in today's employment market, just how easy it is for an experienced nurse to find full time employment. If you are not being relieved from your job duties, then it is unreasonable that you clock out during the period of time that would traditionally be your mandated meal break. However, if you are relieved for lunch and have the opportunity to leave the facility, and only are potentially on call during that time to be called back to work, then they may demand that you clock out when leaving for lunch. If you are called back in that situation, you will just have to punch back in and go back to work. They will have to pay you for the time that you were off for a portion of the meal break that day. However, under CA law, if you are required by your employer to remain at your facility during the meal period, then you must be paid for each meal period you take, and it is inappropriate, and accomplishes nothing for the employer to have you clock out and back in again---however, it is not illegal to do so, and the time clocked out cannot be left unpaid, even if you really get the full 30 minutes off occasionally. Under CA law you are also entitled to a 10 minute break every 4 hours on shift, for which you do not have to clock out, and which must be paid for. Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions. If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction. I wish you the best in your future. Doug
I am at a chronic dialysis faicility. There is no other nurse working with me. There is no physician physically present either. I am it as far as being the one responsible. I also asked about staffing ratios and safety. I am not in the hospital. Are there staffing ratios for chronic dialysis centers? Because, the trend lately is to add more and more responsibilities clinically as well as increasing patient work load and I am told they can do this because there is no law to stop them. I am seriously going to look for another job, but I wanted to know if I am right. I know the ratio in hospital is 1:5. Besides being the only charge/floor nurse I also am required to be the anemia manager, access manager, attend doctor rounds and adjust prescriptions and maintain current medication reviews. These jobs use to be divided up between me and three other nurses. I feel this is ridiculous! There is no time! They just keep adding more and more to the job, without thinking about time, pt.safety, etc.
Hi Sue, Regardless of whether you are in a hospital, a general practice clinic or a specialty clinic like yours---the CA labor laws are the same. Again, I fully understand that you are not free to leave, however, the employer may---as unbelievable as it seems-----make you punch out during your scheduled meal break even if you take no time off. They could get even more ridiculous, and mandate that you clock in and out every hour on the hour---and their insane demand would still be legal under CA law. It is only illegal for them not to pay you for your meal break if they require that you remain at the facility. As regards XXXXX XXXXX about patient ratios, while CA has 4 separate ratios depending on where the patient is, they apply only to hospitals and for non-emergency clinics, there is no applicable staffing ratio for chronic dialysis centers in CA, or elsewhere. I empathize with your situation, and I agree with you, that your situation has become ridiculous and not manageable from a staffing perspective and eventually a patient will be harmed. As there is no protection for you under the law, your best option is, as you have admitted, to look for employment elsewhere. I am sorry, but no law is being violated. You may reply back to me again if you have additional questions, and I will continue to assist you. I wish you the best in your future, Doug
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