Can an employer change your hours daily without notice?

In an effort to get out of paying overtime, but still needing work to get done
after hours, can an employer make an employee stay later than their originally
scheduled hours, but then tell them to take a longer lunch break the next day?

Asked on April 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is absolutley legal. A company can set the terms of employment much as it sees fit or deems appropriate. This includes juggling employee hours to keep down ovetime . Thisis true unless there exits company policy or an applicable union agreement or employment contract to the contrary. Also, such action must not constitute some form of lehally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, employers have freedom to change employee hours at will, without prior notice (as long as there is no written employment agreement setting or specifying hours). Your employer can have you stay late one day--past your ordinary or regular hours--and then reduce your hours the next day to keep your total hours in check and avoid paying overtime; this is completely legal.

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