NYSNA nurses and healthcare professionals won some important victories as the state legislative session ended late last week! Thanks to NYSNA member advocacy and action, the state legislature passed important legislation including:
- Better protections against mandatory overtime
- Limits employers' ability to abuse emergency exemptions to make up for their own inadequate staffing policies. (S8063A/A8874B)
- Provides the same protections from unethical mandatory overtime policies to home care nurses. (S4885A/A181A)
- Strengthens the enforcement of our mandatory overtime laws by increasing fines for employers who break them. (S1997A/A286A)
- Stronger workplace safety committee and HERO Act enforcement
- Increases fines and allows injunctive actions against employers who do not comply with the law or refuse to recognize employee safety committees. (S9450/A10492)
- Limits on medical debt collection practices
- Limits on charging patients for facility add-on fees. (S2521C/A3470C)
- Limits the placement of liens on patients’ homes (S6522A/A7363A)
- Prohibits private employers from discipline for taking permitted sick leave
- Adds use of sick or other leave time to whistle-blower protected rights list, preventing employers from retaliating or disciplining workers merely for using paid sick leave. (S1958A/A8092B)
These bills are important reforms to address the needs of nurses, healthcare professionals, and our patients. They also come on the heels of a state budget with historic investments in healthcare, including healthcare worker retention bonuses, funding for our safety-net facilities, expanded healthcare coverage for more New Yorkers, and more. We urge Governor Hochul to sign these bills.
We made great progress in this year’s budget and legislative process, but there’s still more work to do for healthcare justice. Stay tuned, and sign up for NYSNA’s Political Action Team to get more involved!