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San Francisco Nurses Sue City Over Missed Breaks

Nursing > > Nursing– Class action suit declares nurses at public healthcare facilities were rejected meal, rest breaks

by Shannon Firth, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today February 13, 2024

3 nurses submitted a class action suit versus the city and county of San Francisco recently, declaring they weren’t offered lawfully mandated meal and rest breaks while operating at the city’s public healthcare facilities.

“Since January 1, 2023, the City has actually stopped working to supply meal and pause, and/or one extra hour of pay,” as needed by law, the nurses specified in a class action claim, submitted on behalf of themselves and around 2,200 other city-employed nurses.

On February 6, the complainants, Susannah Levy, REGISTERED NURSE, and Megan Green, REGISTERED NURSE, of the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & & Trauma Center (SF General), and Aizelle Cunanan, REGISTERED NURSE, of Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, submitted the claim in San Francisco County Superior Court, specifying that both medical facilities “frequently” stop working to supply suitable meal and rest breaks.

Levy has actually been a labor and shipment nurse at SF General for 28 years. She regularly functioned as a “charge nurse” and, because function, collaborated staffing on her system, per the claim.

While each shift is expected to have actually a designated “break nurse,” since of understaffing, there frequently aren’t sufficient nurses to appoint any one nurse to that duty. As an outcome, throughout about 75% of all night moves there is at least one nurse who does not get a complete 30-minute break and 2 10-minute rest breaks, the suit kept in mind.

“A nurse might invest her whole shift in a client’s space while the client remains in labor, or in the operating space while the client has a C-section– without having the ability to take a seat, consume, or utilize the restroom,” according to the suit.

In addition, Levy worked “necessary overtime shifts” longer than 10 hours, with no extra 30-minute meal break, or the needed rest breaks.

“The absence of breaks adds to medication mistakes and insufficient paperwork. Nurses have no time at all to refocus and compose themselves,” the claim kept in mind.

Caitlin Gray, JD, is a lawyer for Weinberg, Roger & & Rosenfeld in Los Angeles, one of 2 companies representing the nurses. Gray stated that due to health centers’ low staffing levels, nurses in some cases worked 12-hour shifts with no capability to take breaks.

“The meal and rest break laws in California were created to avoid that,” Gray stated.

While economic sector companies in San Francisco have actually been lawfully needed to supply such breaks for years, a brand-new labor code worked in January 2023 that extended such benefits to public sector health care employees. The code was integrated into a state Senate expense.

Particularly, the brand-new labor law mentions that all “covered staff members” are entitled to “one unsettled 30-minute meal duration on shifts over 5 hours and a 2nd overdue 30-minute meal duration on shifts over 10 hours.”

Workers are likewise entitled to rest breaks at the rate of 10 minutes for every single 4 hours worked,

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