16-hrs. On, 8-hrs. Off Shifts!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about shifts that cause fatigue and stress:

I presently work for a hospital that requires me to work 16 hours on, 8-hr off, 8-hr on, 8-hr off, and 16-hr on. Basically every other day I get mandated for an extra shift. This is more than I can take. They say I have to have FMLA to stop my overtime woes but I don’t have 1 year of employment yet. My question is. Would they still make me do this if I had a doctor’s excuse saying I could not for health concerns? Please help.

Signed, Too Much

Dear Too Much:

You have two choices. Either keep working these crazy hours or look for another position. They are giving you 8 hours off after every shift so…. I suggest you look for another job. Medical careers are pretty much exempt from traditional labor laws. I also suggest you check out the labor laws applicable to your profession in your state. Reasonable should be a standard for working hours; however, it isn’t in your case. Don’t give up negotiating hours that meet your needs, especially if for you it is for health reasons. Think WEGO.

Dan Kearney, HR Manager, Guest Respondent