senate Bill S1634

Establishes the "Safe Staffing for Hospital Care Act"

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH

Summary

Establishes the "Safe Staffing for Hospital Care Act"; establishes minimum staffing levels for various health care workers in different health care facilities; requires submission of staffing pans; prohibits most mandatory overtime.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

Versions:
S1634
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 28-F ยงยง2899-aa - 2899-ee, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1134
2009-2010: S1780

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1634

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing the "safe
staffing for hospital care act"

PURPOSE:
Establishes the "Safe Staffing for Hospital Care Act"

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Short title: "Safe Staffing for Hospital Care Act"

Section 2. Legislative findings and intent

Section 3. Creates Article 28-F of the public health law: "Safe
Staffing for Hospital Care Act", which includes the following
provisions:

Licensed Article 28 facilitates must provide the appropriate numbers
of qualified nursing staff in each department and submit an annual
staffing plan to the Department of Health with a written
certification plan. The staffing plan must meet the minimum
requirements established in the bill as well as meet additional
requirements as provided by other law or regulation.

An approved acuity system must be established to address fluctuations
in patient care and nursing care requirements, and must identify
administrative work that is performed by direct care nurses. Requires
the Department of Health to develop regulations by which it will
approve a facility's acuity system.

The facility must: identify the assessment tool used to document
actual daily staffing; include a written assessment of the accuracy
of the prior year's staffing plan; and identify each nurse staff
classification with a statement setting forth minimum qualifications
for each classification. Such system must be developed in
consultation with the direct-care nursing staff or an approved
collective bargaining representative.

Describes minimum direct-care nurse to patient ratios for specific
department and units. Requires the Department of Health to adopt
regulations to establish minimum nurse to patient ratios. When the
approved acuity system indicates that additional staff are needed,
the facility must staff at the higher level. The skill mix reflected
in a staffing plan must ensure that specific elements in the nursing
process are performed.

Registered nurses must constitute 50% of the direct care nurses in the
staffing plan. Prohibits unlicensed personnel from performing duties
established in law or regulation that are limited to licensed
personnel.


Requires a facility to be staffed at all times in accordance with its
staffing plan. The facility may staff at higher nurse to patient
staffing ratios.

Requires the nurse to be appropriately licensed, to receive
appropriate orientation, and verification that the nurse can provide
competent nursing care in order to be included in the staffing plan.

In order to be licensed as an Article 28 facility, the facility must
maintain accurate daily records containing specific information
described in the bill.

Requires the facility to maintain daily statistics on mortality,
morbidity, infection, accident, injury and medical errors. Records
required by this bill must be maintained for a period of seven years.

Requires records to be made available to the Department of Health and
the public. Provides patient Privacy protections.

Prohibits mandatory overtime except during a state of emergency
declared by the Governor. Establishes limits on work hours and
requires specific hours for employees to be off duty.

Allows for an overtime program in excess of limits established in the
bill, provided that such over time is pursuant to a collective
bargaining agreement and that adequate measures to prevent employee
fatigue are included in the agreement.

Requires each licensed health care facility to adopt and disseminate
written policies under which direct care nurses may refuse a work
assignment. Describes conditions under which a nurse may refuse a
work assignment. Describes minimum standards to be included in the
written work assignment policy.

Prohibits a facility from penalizing the employee if the employee
reasonably acted in good faith in refusing a work assignment.
Describes situations constituting good faith.

Allows for actions to be brought by any person who has been injured by
reason of a violation of this article.

Requires the Commissioner of Health to enforce this article and to
adopt rules and regulations to promulgate its provisions.

Prohibits health care facilities from taking adverse actions against
an individual because such individual seeks to enforce this article.

Allows for monetary relief to be awarded to an employee when the
employee prevails in any action under this article. Enjoins the
health care facility from continuing to violate the provisions of
this article. The facility may be required to take affirmative steps
as needed. Requires the health care facility to pay reasonable
attorney's and expert witness fees and other costs associated with
the action.

Section 4. Effective Date


JUSTIFICATION:
This bill will: protect the safety of New York State residents by
ensuring that licensed health care facilities hire adequate numbers
of qualified nursing staff in each department; require minimum
direct-care nurse to patient ratios; prohibit unlicensed personnel
from performing tasks
that are limited by state law or regulation to licensed personnel;
prohibit mandatory overtime; require the facility to adopt written
regulations under which a nurse may refuse a work assignment, and
prohibit the employee from being penalized if he or she has acted in
good faith in refusing a work assignment. It is the responsibility of
the State to ensure that the delivery of health care services to
patients in health care facilities in New York is adequate and safe.
Furthermore, these facilities must retain sufficient nursing staff in
order to promote optimal health outcomes. Higher acuity levels among
patients in our health care facilities require safe staffing levels.
Low staffing levels and lack of adequately trained staff can result
in dangerous and unnecessary medical errors and infections, that
unfortunately can lead to preventable deaths. A substantial number of
nurses indicate that hospital-patient acuity measurements are
inadequate and that many hospitals, rarely, if ever, staff according
to an established acuity measurement tool. Establishing staffing
standards will ensure that health care facilities throughout the
state operate in a manner that guarantees the public safety and the
delivery of quality health care services.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.1134 Referred to Health
2010: S.1780 Referred to Health
A.5370 Referred to Health
2008: S.2482 Referred to Health
A.8107 Referred to Health
2006: S.2965 Referred to Health

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Undetermined.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
July first after it becomes law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1634

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to  establishing  the
  "safe staffing for hospital care act"

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known as the "safe  staffing
for hospital care act".
  S 2. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature hereby finds and
declares  that  the  state  has  a substantial interest in assuring that
delivery of healthcare services to  patients  in  healthcare  facilities
located  within  this  state  is  adequate  and safe and that healthcare
facilities retain sufficient nursing staff  so  as  to  promote  optimal
healthcare  outcomes.  Recent  changes in our healthcare delivery system
are resulting in a higher acuity  level  among  patients  in  healthcare
facilities.  Inadequate  hospital  staffing results in dangerous medical
errors and patient infections. Inadequate  and  poorly  monitored  nurse
staffing practices can adversely impact the health of patients who enter
hospitals  and  outpatient emergency and surgical centers. A substantial
number of nurses indicate that hospital-patient acuity measurements  are
inadequate  and  that many hospitals rarely, if ever, staff according to
an acuity measurement tool. Hospital nurses  work  substantial  overtime
hours  and  nurses  working  twelve-hour shifts work the most additional
overtime hours per week. Mandatory overtime and lengthy work  hours  for
direct-care  nurses  constitute  a  threat  to  the health and safety of
patients, adversely impact the general well-being of nurses  and  result
in  greater  turnover,  which  increases  long-term  shortage of nursing
personnel. Establishing staffing standards will ensure  that  healthcare
facilities  throughout the state operate in a manner that guarantees the
public safety and the  delivery  of  quality  healthcare  services.  The

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02756-01-3

S. 1634                             2

intent  of this act is to protect the health and safety of the residents
of New York state by ensuring adequate protection and care for  patients
in healthcare facilities.
  S  3. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 28-F to
read as follows:

                              ARTICLE 28-F
                     SAFE STAFFING FOR HOSPITAL CARE

SECTION 2899-AA. FACILITY STAFFING STANDARD.
        2899-BB. COMPLIANCE WITH PLAN AND RECORDKEEPING.
        2899-CC. MANDATORY OVERTIME AND EXCESSIVE DUTY HOURS.
        2899-DD. EMPLOYEE RIGHTS.
        2899-EE. ENFORCEMENT.
  S 2899-AA. FACILITY  STAFFING  STANDARD.  1.  EACH  FACILITY  LICENSED
PURSUANT  TO  THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL ENSURE THAT IT IS STAFFED IN A MANNER
THAT PROVIDES SUFFICIENT, APPROPRIATELY QUALIFIED NURSING STAFF OF  EACH
CLASSIFICATION  IN  EACH DEPARTMENT OR UNIT WITHIN THE FACILITY IN ORDER
TO MEET THE INDIVIDUALIZED CARE NEEDS OF PATIENTS.
  2. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW TO THE CONTRARY, AS A CONDITION OF  LICENS-
ING,  EACH  HEALTHCARE FACILITY LICENSED WITHIN THE STATE SHALL ANNUALLY
SUBMIT TO THE DEPARTMENT A DOCUMENTED  STAFFING  PLAN  TOGETHER  WITH  A
WRITTEN  CERTIFICATION  THAT  THE STAFFING PLAN IS SUFFICIENT TO PROVIDE
ADEQUATE AND APPROPRIATE DELIVERY OF HEALTHCARE SERVICES TO PATIENTS FOR
THE ENSUING YEAR. THE STAFFING PLAN MUST:
  (A) MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBDIVISION THREE  OF
THIS SECTION.
  (B)  BE ADEQUATE TO MEET ANY ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS PROVIDED BY OTHER
LAWS OR REGULATIONS.
  (C) EMPLOY AND IDENTIFY AN APPROVED ACUITY SYSTEM FOR ADDRESSING FLUC-
TUATIONS IN ACTUAL PATIENT ACUITY LEVELS AND NURSING  CARE  REQUIREMENTS
REQUIRING  INCREASED STAFFING LEVELS ABOVE THE MINIMUMS SET FORTH IN THE
PLAN.
  (D) FACTOR IN OTHER UNIT  OR  DEPARTMENT  WORK,  SUCH  AS  DISCHARGES,
TRANSFERS  AND ADMISSIONS, AND ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT TASKS, THAT IS
EXPECTED TO BE DONE BY DIRECT-CARE NURSES IN ADDITION TO DIRECT  NURSING
CARE.
  (E)  IDENTIFY  THE  ASSESSMENT TOOL USED TO VALIDATE THE ACUITY SYSTEM
RELIED ON IN THE PLAN.
  (F) IDENTIFY THE SYSTEM THAT WILL BE USED TO DOCUMENT ACTUAL  STAFFING
ON A DAILY BASIS WITHIN EACH DEPARTMENT OR UNIT.
  (G)  INCLUDE  A WRITTEN ASSESSMENT OF THE ACCURACY OF THE PRIOR YEAR'S
STAFFING PLAN IN LIGHT OF ACTUAL STAFFING NEEDS.
  (H)  IDENTIFY  EACH  NURSE  STAFF  CLASSIFICATION  REFERENCED  THEREIN
TOGETHER  WITH A STATEMENT SETTING FORTH MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR EACH
SUCH CLASSIFICATION.
  (I) BE DEVELOPED IN CONSULTATION WITH THE  DIRECT-CARE  NURSING  STAFF
WITHIN EACH DEPARTMENT OR UNIT OR, WHERE SUCH STAFF IS REPRESENTED, WITH
THE  APPLICABLE  RECOGNIZED OR CERTIFIED COLLECTIVE BARGAINING REPRESEN-
TATIVE OR REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DIRECT-CARE NURSING STAFF.
  3. THE HEALTHCARE FACILITY'S STAFFING  PLAN  MUST  INCORPORATE,  AT  A
MINIMUM,  THE  FOLLOWING  DIRECT-CARE NURSE-TO-PATIENT RATIOS: PEDIATRIC
RECOVERY ROOM--ONE TO ONE, OPERATING ROOM CIRCULATING NURSE--ONE TO ONE,
SPECIAL PROCEDURES (E.G. CATH LAB, RADIOLOGY,  ENDOSCOPY)--ONE  TO  ONE,
TRAUMA--ONE  TO  ONE,  BURN UNIT--ONE TO TWO, CRITICAL CARE--ONE TO TWO,
LABOR AND DELIVERY--ONE TO TWO, ADULT RECOVERY ROOM--ONE TO  TWO,  EMER-

S. 1634                             3

GENCY  ROOM--ONE TO THREE, ONCOLOGY/CHEMOTHERAPY--ONE TO THREE, INTERME-
DIATE CARE UNIT--ONE TO  THREE,  TELEMETRY--ONE  TO  THREE,  MOTHER/BABY
COUPLETS  AND  NORMAL POST-PARTUM--ONE TO FOUR, PEDIATRICS--ONE TO FOUR,
PSYCHIATRIC UNIT--ONE TO FOUR, ADULT MEDICAL-SURGICAL UNIT--ONE TO SIX.
  4.  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  ADOPT  REGULATIONS THAT ESTABLISH MINIMUM,
SPECIFIC,  NUMERICAL  DIRECT-CARE  NURSE-TO-PATIENT  RATIOS  FOR   OTHER
HEALTHCARE  FACILITY NURSING DEPARTMENTS AND UNITS THAT MUST BE INCORPO-
RATED INTO THE STAFFING PLAN.
  5. THE MINIMUM NUMBERS OF DIRECT-CARE NURSE-TO-PATIENT STAFF SET FORTH
IN THIS SECTION SHALL CONSTITUTE  THE  MINIMUM  NUMBERS  OF  DIRECT-CARE
NURSING  STAFF THAT SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO AND BE PRESENT WITHIN A NURSING
DEPARTMENT OR UNIT. WHERE THE APPROVED  ACUITY  SYSTEM  ADOPTED  BY  THE
FACILITY  INDICATES  THAT  ADDITIONAL  STAFF IS REQUIRED, THE HEALTHCARE
FACILITY MUST STAFF AT THE HIGHER STAFFING LEVEL.
  6. THE SKILL MIX REFLECTED IN A STAFFING PLAN MUST ASSURE THAT ALL  OF
THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS OF THE NURSING PROCESS ARE PERFORMED IN THE PLAN-
NING AND DELIVERY OF CARE FOR EACH PATIENT:
  (A)  ASSESSMENT, NURSING DIAGNOSIS, PLANNING, INTERVENTION, EVALUATION
AND PATIENT ADVOCACY.
  (B) REGISTERED NURSES MUST CONSTITUTE AT LEAST FIFTY  PERCENT  OF  THE
DIRECT-CARE NURSES INCLUDED IN THE STAFFING PLAN.
  (C)  THE  SKILL  MIX  MAY  NOT INCORPORATE OR ASSUME THAT NURSING CARE
FUNCTIONS REQUIRED BY LICENSING LAW OR REGULATIONS OR ACCEPTED STANDARDS
OF PRACTICE TO BE PERFORMED BY A LICENSED NURSE ARE TO BE  PERFORMED  BY
UNLICENSED PERSONNEL.
  7.  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL ADOPT REGULATIONS PRESCRIBING THE METHOD BY
WHICH IT WILL APPROVE A HEALTHCARE FACILITY'S ACUITY SYSTEM. SUCH  REGU-
LATIONS MAY INCLUDE A SYSTEM FOR CLASS APPROVAL OF ACUITY SYSTEMS.
  S 2899-BB. COMPLIANCE WITH PLAN AND RECORDKEEPING. 1.  NOTWITHSTANDING
ANY  LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY,  AS  A CONDITION OF LICENSING, A HEALTHCARE
FACILITY LICENSED WITHIN THE STATE MUST AT ALL TIMES STAFF IN ACCORDANCE
WITH ITS STAFFING PLAN AND THE STAFFING STANDARDS  ESTABLISHED  PURSUANT
TO  THIS ARTICLE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING HEREIN SHALL BE DEEMED
TO PRECLUDE A HEALTHCARE FACILITY FROM IMPLEMENTING  HIGHER  DIRECT-CARE
NURSE-TO-PATIENT STAFFING LEVELS.
  2.  NO  NURSE  SHALL BE ASSIGNED, OR INCLUDED IN THE COUNT OF ASSIGNED
NURSING STAFF FOR PURPOSES OF COMPLIANCE WITH MINIMUM STAFFING  REQUIRE-
MENTS,  IN  A  NURSING  DEPARTMENT OR UNIT OR A CLINICAL AREA WITHIN THE
HEALTHCARE FACILITY WITHOUT APPROPRIATE  LICENSING,  PRIOR  ORIENTATION,
AND  VERIFICATION THAT THE NURSE IS CAPABLE OF PROVIDING COMPETENT NURS-
ING CARE TO THE PATIENTS THEREIN.
  3. AS A CONDITION OF  LICENSURE,  EACH  HEALTHCARE  FACILITY  LICENSED
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE SHALL MAINTAIN ACCURATE DAILY RECORDS SHOWING:
  (A)  THE  NUMBER  OF  PATIENTS  ADMITTED, RELEASED AND PRESENT IN EACH
NURSING DEPARTMENT OR UNIT WITHIN THE FACILITY.
  (B) THE INDIVIDUAL ACUITY LEVEL OF EACH PATIENT PRESENT IN EACH  NURS-
ING DEPARTMENT OR UNIT WITHIN THE FACILITY.
  (C)  THE  IDENTITY  AND  DUTY  HOURS OF EACH DIRECT-CARE NURSE IN EACH
NURSING DEPARTMENT OR UNIT WITHIN THE FACILITY.
  4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW TO THE CONTRARY, AS A CONDITION  OF  LICEN-
SURE,  EACH HEALTHCARE FACILITY LICENSED WITHIN THE STATE SHALL MAINTAIN
DAILY STATISTICS, BY NURSING DEPARTMENT AND UNIT, OF MORTALITY, MORBIDI-
TY, INFECTION, ACCIDENT, INJURY AND MEDICAL ERRORS.
  5. ALL RECORDS REQUIRED TO BE KEPT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION  SHALL  BE
MAINTAINED FOR A PERIOD OF SEVEN YEARS.

S. 1634                             4

  6.  ALL  RECORDS REQUIRED TO BE KEPT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE
MADE AVAILABLE UPON  REQUEST  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT  AND  TO  THE  PUBLIC,
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT  INFORMATION  RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC SHALL NOT
CONTAIN THE NAME OR OTHER PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION,  APART  FROM
ACUITY LEVEL, ABOUT ANY INDIVIDUAL PATIENT.
  S  2899-CC.  MANDATORY  OVERTIME  AND EXCESSIVE DUTY HOURS.  1. EXCEPT
DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY  DECLARED  BY  THE  GOVERNOR,  A  HEALTHCARE
FACILITY MAY NOT MANDATE OR OTHERWISE REQUIRE, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, A
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE TO WORK OR BE IN ON-DUTY STATUS IN EXCESS OF ANY ONE
OF THE FOLLOWING:
  (A) THE SCHEDULED WORK SHIFT OR DUTY PERIOD.
  (B) TWELVE HOURS IN A TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR PERIOD.
  (C) EIGHTY HOURS IN A CONSECUTIVE FOURTEEN-DAY PERIOD.
  "MANDATE"  FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION MEANS ANY REQUEST
WHICH, IF REFUSED OR DECLINED BY THE HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE, MAY RESULT  IN
DISCHARGE,  DISCIPLINE,  LOSS  OF PROMOTION, OR OTHER ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT
CONSEQUENCE. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO PROHIBIT  A  HEALTH-
CARE EMPLOYEE FROM VOLUNTARILY WORKING OVERTIME.
  2. EXCEPT DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED BY THE GOVERNOR:
  (A)  NO HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE MAY WORK OR BE IN ON-DUTY STATUS MORE THAN
SIXTEEN HOURS IN ANY TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR PERIOD.
  (B) ANY HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE WORKING SIXTEEN HOURS IN ANY  TWENTY-FOUR-
HOUR  PERIOD  MUST HAVE AT LEAST EIGHT CONSECUTIVE HOURS OFF DUTY BEFORE
BEING REQUIRED TO RETURN TO DUTY.
  (C) NO HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REQUIRED TO WORK OR BE ON-DUTY  MORE
THAN   SEVEN   CONSECUTIVE   DAYS   WITHOUT  AT  LEAST  ONE  CONSECUTIVE
TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR PERIOD OFF DUTY WITHIN THAT TIME.
  3. A WORK SHIFT SCHEDULE OR OVERTIME PROGRAM ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO A
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT NEGOTIATED ON BEHALF OF  THE  HEALTHCARE
EMPLOYEES  BY  A  BONA FIDE LABOR ORGANIZATION MAY PROVIDE FOR MANDATORY
ON-DUTY HOURS IN EXCESS OF THAT PERMITTED UNDER THIS  SECTION,  PROVIDED
ADEQUATE MEASURES ARE INCLUDED IN THE AGREEMENT TO ENSURE AGAINST EXCES-
SIVE FATIGUE ON THE PART OF THE AFFECTED EMPLOYEES.
  S 2899-DD. EMPLOYEE RIGHTS. 1.  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW TO THE CONTRA-
RY, AS A CONDITION OF LICENSURE, EACH HEALTHCARE FACILITY LICENSED WITH-
IN  THE STATE SHALL ADOPT AND DISSEMINATE TO DIRECT-CARE NURSING STAFF A
WRITTEN POLICY THAT COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVI-
SIONS TWO AND THREE OF THIS SECTION, DETAILING THE  CIRCUMSTANCES  UNDER
WHICH A DIRECT-CARE NURSE MAY REFUSE A WORK ASSIGNMENT.
  2. AT A MINIMUM, THE WORK ASSIGNMENT POLICY SHALL PERMIT A DIRECT-CARE
NURSE TO REFUSE AN ASSIGNMENT FOR WHICH:
  (A)  THE NURSE IS NOT PREPARED BY EDUCATION, TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE TO
SAFELY FULFILL  THE  ASSIGNMENT  WITHOUT  COMPROMISING  OR  JEOPARDIZING
PATIENT  SAFETY,  THE NURSE'S ABILITY TO MEET FORESEEABLE PATIENT NEEDS,
OR THE NURSE'S LICENSE.
  (B) THE NURSE HAS VOLUNTEERED TO WORK OVERTIME BUT DETERMINES THAT HIS
OR HER LEVEL OF FATIGUE AND/OR DECREASED ALERTNESS WOULD  COMPROMISE  OR
JEOPARDIZE  PATIENT  SAFETY,  THE  NURSE'S  ABILITY  TO MEET FORESEEABLE
PATIENT NEEDS, OR THE NURSE'S LICENSE.
  (C) THE ASSIGNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD  VIOLATE  REQUIREMENTS  ESTABLISHED
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE.
  3.  AT  A MINIMUM, THE WORK ASSIGNMENT POLICY SHALL CONTAIN PROCEDURES
FOR THE FOLLOWING:
  (A) REASONABLE REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIOR NOTICE TO A  NURSE'S  SUPERVISOR
REGARDING  THE NURSE'S REQUEST AND SUPPORTING REASONS FOR BEING RELIEVED
OF AN ASSIGNMENT OR CONTINUED DUTY.

S. 1634                             5

  (B) WHERE FEASIBLE, AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SUPERVISOR  TO  REVIEW  THE
SPECIFIC CONDITIONS SUPPORTING THE NURSE'S REQUEST, AND TO DECIDE WHETH-
ER  TO REMEDY THE CONDITIONS, TO RELIEVE THE NURSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT, OR
TO DENY THE NURSE'S REQUEST TO BE RELIEVED OF THE ASSIGNMENT OR  CONTIN-
UED DUTY.
  (C)  A PROCESS WHICH PERMITS THE NURSE TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE
THE ASSIGNMENT OR CONTINUED ON-DUTY STATUS WHEN  THE  SUPERVISOR  DENIES
THE REQUEST TO BE RELIEVED IF:
  (I)  THE SUPERVISOR REJECTS THE REQUEST WITHOUT PROPOSING A REMEDY, OR
THE PROPOSED REMEDY WOULD BE INADEQUATE OR UNTIMELY.
  (II) THE COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCESS WITH THE DEPARTMENT WOULD
BE UNTIMELY TO ADDRESS THE CONCERN.
  (III) THE EMPLOYEE IN GOOD FAITH BELIEVES THAT  THE  ASSIGNMENT  MEETS
CONDITIONS JUSTIFYING REFUSAL.
  4.  AN EMPLOYEE IS DEEMED TO ACT IN GOOD FAITH IF THE EMPLOYEE REASON-
ABLY BELIEVES THAT THE INFORMATION REPORTED OR DISCLOSED  IS  TRUE,  AND
THAT  A  VIOLATION  HAS  OCCURRED  OR  MAY  OCCUR. A HEALTHCARE FACILITY
COVERED BY THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT PENALIZE, DISCRIMINATE OR RETALIATE IN
ANY MANNER AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE  WITH  RESPECT  TO  COMPENSATION,  TERMS,
CONDITIONS  OR PRIVILEGES OF EMPLOYMENT, WHO IN GOOD FAITH, INDIVIDUALLY
OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANOTHER PERSON OR PERSONS:
  (A) REPORTS A VIOLATION OR SUSPECTED VIOLATION OF THIS  SECTION  TO  A
PUBLIC  REGULATORY  AGENCY,  A PRIVATE ACCREDITATION BODY, OR MANAGEMENT
PERSONNEL OF THE HEALTHCARE FACILITY,
  (B) INITIATES, COOPERATES OR OTHERWISE  PARTICIPATES  IN  AN  INVESTI-
GATION  OR PROCEEDING BROUGHT BY A REGULATORY AGENCY OR PRIVATE ACCREDI-
TATION BODY CONCERNING MATTERS COVERED BY THIS SECTION,
  (C) INFORMS OR DISCUSSES WITH OTHER EMPLOYEES, WITH REPRESENTATIVE  OR
REPRESENTATIVES  OF  THE  EMPLOYEES,  WITH PATIENTS OR PATIENT REPRESEN-
TATIVES, OR WITH THE PUBLIC, VIOLATIONS OR SUSPECTED VIOLATIONS OF  THIS
SECTION, OR
  (D)  OTHERWISE  AVAILS  HIMSELF  OR  HERSELF OF THE RIGHTS ESTABLISHED
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE.
  S 2899-EE. ENFORCEMENT. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY RIGHT OF ACTION GRANTED
TO ANY GOVERNMENTAL BODY PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE, ANY  PERSON  WHO  HAS
BEEN  INJURED  BY  REASON  OF  A  VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BRING AN
ACTION IN HIS OR HER OWN NAME TO ENJOIN SUCH UNLAWFUL ACT, OR AN  ACTION
TO RECOVER HIS OR HER ACTUAL DAMAGES, OR BOTH SUCH ACTIONS.
  2.  THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL  BE  ENFORCED  BY THE COMMISSIONER, WHO SHALL
PROMULGATE SUCH REGULATIONS AS ARE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT AND ADMINISTER
COMPLIANCE. REGULATIONS SHALL INCLUDE PROCEDURES  TO  RECEIVE,  INVESTI-
GATE,  AND ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE COMPLAINTS, AND BRING ACTIONS IN ANY COURT
OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO RECOVER APPROPRIATE  RELIEF  FOR  AGGRIEVED
EMPLOYEES.
  3. NO HEALTHCARE FACILITY SHALL DISCHARGE, DEMOTE, HARASS OR OTHERWISE
TAKE  ADVERSE  ACTIONS  AGAINST  ANY  INDIVIDUAL BECAUSE SUCH INDIVIDUAL
SEEKS TO ENFORCE THIS ARTICLE, OR TESTIFIES, ASSISTS OR PARTICIPATES  IN
ANY  MANNER  IN AN INVESTIGATION, HEARING OR OTHER PROCEEDING TO ENFORCE
THIS ARTICLE.
  4. IN ANY ACTION UNDER THIS ARTICLE IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE PREVAILS:
  (A) THE EMPLOYEE SHALL BE AWARDED MONETARY RELIEF, INCLUDING BACK  PAY
IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL EARN-
INGS  AND  WHAT  THE  EMPLOYEE  WOULD HAVE EARNED BUT FOR THE HEALTHCARE
FACILITY'S UNLAWFUL PRACTICES, AND  AN  ADDITIONAL  AMOUNT  IN  PUNITIVE
DAMAGES, AS APPROPRIATE.

S. 1634                             6

  (B)  THE  HEALTHCARE  FACILITY  SHALL  BE  ENJOINED FROM CONTINUING TO
VIOLATE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND MAY BE ORDERED TO  TAKE  SUCH
ADDITIONAL  AFFIRMATIVE  STEPS  AS ARE NECESSARY TO ENSURE AN END TO THE
UNLAWFUL PRACTICES.
  (C)  THE  HEALTHCARE  FACILITY  SHALL PAY A REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEE,
REASONABLE EXPERT WITNESS FEES, AND OTHER COSTS OF THE ACTION.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of July  next  succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.