ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Proposed legislation is now before Governor Kathy Hochul, and if signed, would help regulate mandatory overtime for nurses.

If approved, the bills would also include home health aides, some of whom say the pending decision would help boost morale across the industry.

Recently passed by the state legislature, the legislation is now awaiting the governors’ approval. Those in health care say it would provide protection for an already stretched workforce.

Not only would the bills affect the number of hours nurses can work, they would impose a fine for employers who violate mandatory overtime restrictions.

Mark Donoghue treats patients at home, and in the past, has worked in settings that have dealt with the mandates. 

“Some of the aides I used to work with would get upset with the fact they’d been mandated. I really felt that had affected morale in a negative way quite a bit. They have families, too, and that they had now all of a sudden had to make adjustments at home made it really difficult for taking care of their families,” said Donoghue, a home health aide.

A spokesperson with the New York State Nurses Association addressed their insistence on the governor to approve the legislation, releasing a statement saying in part, “Nurses need protection from abusive mandatory overtime. The abuse of mandatory overtime is contributing to exhaustion, burnout and nurses leaving the profession. When nurses are pushed to work long hours, it is unsafe for them and their patients.”

“As far as other nurses are concerned or aides are concerned, I think it’s a step in the right direction to increase morale, better quality of care, and general business practice,” said Donoghue, “We’ve already been through one wave of mandates with the vaccinations and everything else. What more can you ask of those that are caring for the most vulnerable population?”

A spokesperson for the governor’s office tells News 8 the legislation is under her review at this time.

Governor Hochul has until December 31 to approve or veto the legislation.

News 8 also reached out to URMC and Rochester Regional Health for comment if the legislation may affect regulations or staffing, and has not heard back.