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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37050
Experience:  30+ years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
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I am a non salaried nurse. I am scheduled to work 32 hours a

Customer Question

I am a non salaried nurse. I am scheduled to work 32 hours a week. The company I work for does not have enough staff. They " mandate" the nurses to work double shifts. I have had to cancel a doctor's appointment and time with my family. They "pull a name from a hat".
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Massachusetts
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: at will
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have been a nurse for 32 years. This has never happened to me, not even during a blizzard etc.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Good afternoon,

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 nurse, so I understand how the health care employment situation is. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. What is it I can assist you in understanding?

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

I won't be able to assist you if you are not able to provide the minimal information I sought clarification on. Please get back to me with this information at your earliest convenience.

Doug

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The facility I work for is understaffed. Can they force a nurse to do a double shift when she refuses to do so? I have had to cancel plans with my family and even a doctor's appointment because I was forced to stay another shift. Is this legal? What options do I have besides finding another job?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I live in Massachusetts. I am an employee at will. I am scheduled to work 32 hours a week.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for your clarification. My wife has faced the exact same situation at a hospital that she worked at for a long time. I certainly empathize with the situation that you are facing.

As a nurse, I am sure that you are aware that you are an employee at will. That means that you can be let go for any reason so long as that reason is not illegal---such as discrimination based on your race, color, sex etc.

If the employer wants you to work double shifts, there is nothing that you can do to prevent them from asking you to work over when they need it. And while you can certainly refuse, you risk your position with the employer in doing that because they can terminate you if you refuse to take on extra work. Obviously, you must be paid for your time, but yes, they can demand that you work overtime. Their request is perfectly legal and as far as options go, you have no legal options--just options to file a formal complaint that you have through your HR department.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please know that I answer your questions in good faith, providing you with the information that you ask for, and I do that with the expectation that you would act likewise, and rate my service to you. Rating me costs you nothing as you have already paid the deposit for my help, or you are a subscription customer already. All rating does is ensure that I am paid for my time in working with you. So, please do be sure to rate my service to you. Rating is accomplished by clicking on the rating-stars on your page. Thank you in advance for your positive rating.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you? Rating me costs you nothing as you have already paid the deposit for my help. All rating does is ensure that I am paid for my time in working with you.

Thanks in advance for your rating of my service, It is greatly appreciated,

Doug