Can my company take away overtime pay?

I work in an 8-5 office in which occassionally I every month I have meetings that go until 6 or 7. I have been getting time and 1/2 pay for the overtime work. My employer now wants me to come in an hour or two late on the mornings of the meetings instead of paying overtime. This will put me behind on my work and then he could complain that I am not getting my work finished. Is it legal for him to ask me to come in late? Out of an office of 11 I am the only one who he has made this request.

Asked on June 30, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract, you are an employee "at will," which means that your employer doesn't need a reason to change things around -- you can be fired, or rescheduled, or have your hours cut, for no reason at all.

The only exceptions to that are for illegal reasons, like racial or religious discrimination, or retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim, to name a few examples.  You haven't mentioned anything that fits into something like that, but if there's more that you haven't included in your question, that you think might match up to something exceptional, please have all of the facts of your case reviewed by an attorney in your area.  One place to find qualified lawyers is our website,

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