"We now have a 2-week pay period that starts on Friday and ends two weeks later on Thursday, totaling 80 hours," John explains. Even though he only works a total of 80 hours, in one of those weeks, he (and many of his co-workers) work six days in a row.
"For instance, on the first Friday [of a two-week period] I am off, then I work from Saturday through Thursday, off Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and work again Monday through Thursday. I work 8 hours a day so in those six days, so I work 48 hours," he says.
John also adds that in his department (bio-med), three co-workers have similar issues—they still have to work the six days in a row at some point. "What really bothers me is that we also have, under the same department director, six or seven people who work 10 days in a row without any overtime," he says.
"I don't care if it is OK with the employee or not, it is my understanding that you can't waive this. The fact is, if you work more than 40 hours in a row, they are violating the California labor law."
John has studied the California labor law to find out if in fact the hospital can schedule employees to work six days in a row without overtime. "We sure don't fall under some of these goofy exceptions it has listed," he says. "On the state's labor law website, other than being exempt, (and we aren't) the exceptions are really obscure. I can't see any excuse for the hospital to be doing this.
"If they want me to work six days in a row, I am fine with that, as long as I get overtime on the sixth day."
John says that, before their schedules were changed, everyone in his department was working a regular 5-day week. But another department has been doing this new schedule of six-days on, four days off routine for years.
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So far, I'm the only employee who has pursued this issue. Everyone complains but nobody wants to do anything about it. I want to do the right thing and make sure the hospital is on the level with all of us."