Fulton State Hospital employees and others working at state intermediate and maximum security mental health care facilities in Missouri no longer could be forced to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period under legislation now under consideration by Gov. Jay Nixon.
The legislation, approved during the recent session of the Missouri General Assembly, was sponsored by Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane.
"Employees at Fulton State Hospital deserve to work in the safest environment possible," Riddle said. "Having to work multiple back-to-back eight-hour shifts can result in overall poor health and slower reaction time. This is unacceptable and can make life very difficult for the employees and their families."
Riddle said it is common for many employees at Fulton State Hospital to work back-to-back eight-hour shifts. She said this is caused in part to policies at the hospital that require certain staffing minimums.
"When shift replacements do not arrive," Riddle said, "then other employees must stay to supervise clients and perform other necessary duties. It is not uncommon for this to occur frequently throughout the week."
The legislation does not prohibit an employee from requesting to work extra time. Under legislation offered by Riddle, a state employee working in a medium and maximum security mental health facility no longer could be forced to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period.