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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17223
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
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I am HR Director at a small rural hospital in Florida. Staffing

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I am HR Director at a small rural hospital in Florida. Staffing the hospital with competent nurses and clinical staff is extremely challenging. Nurses especially, abuse the time clock and overtime policies continuously. Numerous direction and warnings have been given to nurses staying 1/2 to 2 and 3 hours past their shift. The hospital is struggling financially and payroll is a huge issue. All other staff including management has taken a 20 -25% cut in pay to keep the hospital afloat but the nurses continue to defy the policy.

I have always gone through the documentation process of three strikes and you're out. However, in this position we cannot be without staff, therefore there is no consequence.

Can we legally impose a fine for policy abuse such as staying on the time clock with no previous approved overtime or legitimate reason or smoking on a smoke free campus?? (Noting, of course, a policy for fines be in place before any action)

wallstreetfighter :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification

wallstreetfighter :

This is a common issue,

wallstreetfighter :

Are the nurses salaried or paid hourly?

wallstreetfighter :

Do you have a no smoking policy?

wallstreetfighter :

Under the law, an employer cannot impose a monetary fine, for these issues,

wallstreetfighter :

however, you can create a policy where the employer takes away PTO or other benefits given to employees, if a new policy makes this clear to employees,

wallstreetfighter :

Typically an employer would terminate or suspend an employee for their failure to follow rules,

wallstreetfighter :

however the law requires an employer to check the employees time, so if they overstay overtime is required.

wallstreetfighter :

In terms of a fine for these matters, if the employer authorizes such a fine in writing, and it is a clear policy, and it does not take the employees wage below minimum wage, it could be allowed, however it is risky, and the better alternative is a reduction of benefits.

wallstreetfighter :

Another option is to create a bonus structure,

wallstreetfighter :

where you reduce all employees hourly rate, and advise them they will be given performance bonuses if they do not violate rules,

wallstreetfighter and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much. You have presented some great alternatives and positive reinforcement. Hopefully, a bonus system will be cheaper than overtime.

good luck