Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell has signed into law legislation (H.B. 834) that prohibits mandatory overtime for health care workers except in certain circumstances. This legislation, commonly known as the "mandatory overtime" law, establishes the "Prohibition of Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act" and says that, except in certain circumstances, a health care facility cannot require an employee to work in excess of an agreed to, predetermined and regularly scheduled shift. Overtime can be mandated when an unforeseeable emergent circumstance occurs and the assignment of additional hours is a last resort; the employer has exhausted reasonable efforts to obtain other staffing; and the employer gives the employee an hour to arrange for child or elder care or care of a disabled family member. This law is to take effect July 1, 2009 (Pennsylvania Office of the Governor News Release, October 9, 2008).
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