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Employment Law/Act 102 prohibiting mandatory overtime


My Pennsylvania place of employment is at a health care facility.  If my employer fires a 3-11 employee and does not fill that position, can the employer then mandate  anyone from the 7-3 shift to stay & cover the shift?  The position has been vacant for more than a week now

Under Pennsylvania Act 102, the answer depends on whether the person being required to work two consecutive shifts is a covered employee under the Act's definitions.  We will assume the facility where you work is a covered facility.

The Act defines covered employees to include:

--An individual employed by a health care facility, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or one of its instrumentalities, or a political subdivision (such as a county, municipality, school district, local government);
--who is involved in direct patient care activities or clinical care services;
--who receives an hourly wage or is classified as a nonsupervisory employee for collective bargaining purposes;
--the term employee also includes an individual employed through a personnel agency that contracts with a health care facility to provide personnel.

An individual is involved in clinical care services if the individual is involved in diagnostic imaging, treatment or rehabilitative services provided in a health care facility including the following: radiology, and diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging and postitron emission tomography; radiation therapy; and laboratory medical services.

Act 102 does not govern a physician, physician assistant and dentist. Act 102 also does not cover workers involved in environmental services, clerical, maintenance, food service or other job classification not involved in direct patient care and clinical care services. Individuals must also work for a health care facility and meet the Act's definition of an Employee.

So, if the person being required to work two consecutive shifts meets the above definitions, then unless the situation meets one of the emergency exceptions also listed in the law and regulations, the person can't lawfully be forced to work the extra hours without agreeing to do so, and the hours have to be "regularly scheduled."

If you believe based on this brief explanation that the employer may be violating Act 102, you should (or the affected person should) file a claim with the state Department of Labor and Industry, as follows:

Complaint forms and information about Act 102 are available on the Labor & Industry website: Information and forms are also available at any of the Bureau's regional offices:
Altoona Regional Office:
1130 Twelfth Avenue, Suite 200
Altoona, PA 16601-3486
Telephone: 1-877-792-3486 or 814-940-6224

Harrisburg Regional Office:
1301 L&I Building
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Telephone: 717-787-4671 or 1-800-932-0665

Philadelphia Regional Office:
110 North 8th Street, Suite 203
Philadelphia, PA 19130-4064
Telephone: 215-560-1858

Pittsburgh Regional Office:
301 5th Avenue
Room 3300
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Telephone: 1-877-504-8354 or 412-565-5300

Scranton Regional Office:
201-B State Office Building
100 Lackawanna Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503-1923
Telephone: 570-963-4577 or 1-877-214-3962

[Note: Most of this answer was taken directly from the DLI website.]

I hope you find this helpful.

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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