BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:   April 29, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          840 (Ridley-Thomas) - As Introduced February 26, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill prohibits mandatory overtime for registered nurses,  
          licensed vocational nurses, and certified nursing assistants  
          (CNAs) employed in state hospitals and facilities, except under  
          the following circumstances:





          1)When that nurse or CNA is participating in a surgical  
            procedure and that procedure is still in progress or has not  
            been completed.








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          2)When an unanticipated and non-recurring catastrophic event has  
            occurred and results in such a large number of patients in  
            need of immediate medical treatment that the facility is  
            incapable of providing sufficient nurses or CNAs to attend to  
            the patients without resorting to mandatory overtime.





          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Annual GF costs greater than $3.0 million to the Department of  
          State Hospitals (DSH) and the Department of Corrections and  
          Rehabilitation (DCR) to hire additional nurses to cover the  
          hours currently worked as mandatory overtime; additional GF  
          costs likely to hire additional CNAs.





          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, mandatory overtime is a  
            practice used by hospitals and health care institutions to  
            maintain adequate numbers of staff nurses through forced  
            overtime, often with a total of twelve to sixteen hours  
            worked.  This bill bans mandatory overtime for public sector  
            nurses and CNAs.  The use of mandatory overtime for nurses in  
            the private sector was banned in 2001 through wage orders from  
            the Industrial Welfare Commission.  State and public sector  








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            nurses were exempted from this order.





            According to the author, mandatory overtime may cause or lead  
            to increased stress on nurses and CNAs, less patient comfort,  
            and mental and physical fatigue among nurses and CNAs,  
            contributing to errors and "near-misses" with medications and  
            case-related procedures.  According to information provided by  
            the author, West Virginia, Illinois, Connecticut, Washington,  
            Oregon, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Alaska, and  
            Massachusetts have laws prohibiting the use of mandatory  
            overtime as a general staffing practice.





          2)Difficulty recruiting state nurses.  California's state  
            hospitals primarily serve patients within the criminal justice  
            system.  The challenges associated with treating this patient  
            population have historically led to difficulties in attracting  
            nursing staff, particularly to state hospitals and facilities  
            in remote locations.





            In 2005, a similar effort to ban mandatory overtime was  
            proposed in AB 1184 (Koretz) and vetoed by Governor  
            Schwarzenegger because the state was already having a  
            difficult time recruiting and training nurses for state  
            hospitals.  According to DSH and DCR, those difficulties  
            continue to hamper current efforts to recruit nurses and CNAs.










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          3)If At First You Don't Succeed?  The state's current mandatory  
            overtime rules with nurses and CNAs were subject to and agreed  
            upon in collective bargaining agreements between the state and  
            hospital employees.  This bill risks circumventing the  
            collective bargaining process and the good faith collective  
            bargaining agreements negotiated between the parties by  
            imposing additional statutory restrictions on hours, an area  
            previously left to the collective bargaining process.





            This bill is very similar to AB 2155 (Ridley-Thomas) from last  
            year, which also attempted to modify terms agreed to in  
            collective bargaining, and was vetoed by the Governor.  In his  
            veto message, the Governor stated "[the] measure covers  
            matters more appropriately settled through the collective  
            bargaining process."








          Analysis Prepared by:Joel Tashjian / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081















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