Can your employer make you work past your shift if you have other obligations?

My girlfriend works days and I work nights. She has to be off in enough time to get home and watch my daughter, so I can go to work on time. However, her job constantly works her past her shift knowing this and I have been late for my job because of it. We don’t make enough for a babysitter. I make the majority of the money, so I can’t lose my job and we need her income. What are our options?

Asked on August 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless having your girlfriend work past her shift violates a union agreement or employment contract, it is legal. The fact is that most work relationships are"at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of empoyment much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). Therefore her options here are to complain and get her scheduled hours enforced, refuse to work over her shift, or quit.


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