Hospital Refuses to Talk about Long Shift Allegations
FULTON - Hospital officials refused to comment Friday about their policies on work hours by employees that appear to run counter to a bill signed Thursday by Governor Jay Nixon. Hospital security escorted a KOMU 8 News reporter out of the building Friday morning when she asked to speak to officials about the shifts.
Nixon signed the bill to limit the amount of hours employees at mental health care facilities can work in a single shift. The legislation applies to employees at medium and maximum mental health care facilities. The new law prohibits these hospital employees from being forced to work more than twelve hours in any twenty-four hour period, unless the Department of Mental Health calls a state of emergency.
This new bill will directly affect employees at the Fulton State Hospital, a practice Republican state representative Jeanie Riddle said commonly takes place at the facility. Riddle said in a news release Thursday workers have told her they regularly work back to back eight hour shifts.
The bill will not go into effect until July 2013 because of budgetary procedures.