Don’t work too hard

First it was further restrictions on medical resident work hours.  Now, mandatory overtime for health care workers has been outlawed in Pennsylvania:

The law, set to take effect in July 2009, seeks to protect health care facilities from forcing nurses, technicians, technologists, certified nursing assistants and phlebotomists, and other caregivers from being disciplined or discriminated against for refusing to work overtime.

Mandatory overtime would be allowed in some cases, such as a natural disaster, but it could be used only as a last resort and employees would have to be given one hour to arrange for family care. Employers also are prohibited from using on-call time in place of mandatory overtime. Violators can be fined from $100 to $1,000 per violation.

Whatever other proposals there are for ameliorating America’s health care woes, the traditional (and conspicuously successful) strategy of rolling up one’s sleeves and bringing to bear a great deal of time and effort on the problem doesn’t seem to be something very many people are considering.

Or perhaps simply the work ethic itself is dead.

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