What is the law regarding working non-stop with no days off?

I am a laborer and I have been working 20 days straight with no breaks Monday – Sunday. My boss wants to keep this going, and my boss said if we don’t show up on a Saturday or Sunday we are fired. Is there any law being broken here?

Asked on August 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no prohibition on the maximum number of days in a row that an employee can be scheduled to work. The fact is that there is no upper limit on how many days/hours a company can require an employee to work outside of a very few industries (e.g. airline pilots; firemen, truck drivers; doctors/nurses) where hours are limited due to safety concerns. Consequently, unless your schedule violates an employment contract/union agreement or is the result of legally actionable discrimination/retaliation, it is perfectly permissible. That having been said, if you are a non-exempt employee, then to the extent that you work over 40 hours in a week you are entitled to OT. If your schedule is not acceptable to you, unfortunately your only options re to complain and risk termination or quit


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