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Involuntary Overtime Prohibition for Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses - The Maryland Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards

An employer may not require a nurse to work more than the regularly scheduled hours according to the predetermined work scheduled.

A nurse may be required to work overtime if:

  • the work is a consequence of an emergency situation which could not have been reasonably anticipated;
  • the emergency situation is nonrecurring and is not caused by or aggravated by the employer’s inattention or lack of reasonable contingency planning;
  • the employer has exhausted all good faith, reasonable attempts to obtain voluntary workers during the succeeding shifts;
  • the nurse has critical skills and expertise that are required for the work;
  • the standard of care for a patient assignment requires continuity of care through completion of a case, treatment, or procedure; and
    • the employer has informed the nurse of the basis for the employer’s direction; and
    • that basis satisfies the other requirements for mandatory overtime listed under this subsection.

In addition to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, a nurse may be required to work overtime if:

  • a condition of employment includes on-call rotation; or
  • the nurse works in community-based care.

This section may not be construed to prohibit a nurse from voluntarily agreeing to work more than the number of scheduled hours provided in this section.

NOTE: the federal law may be different or more defined regarding some of the topics, definitions and examples discussed above. For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division at 410-962-6211.