After completing my 8 hour shift can I be forced to stay over?

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After completing my 8 hour shift can I be forced to stay over?

My shift runs 4:30 am – 1:00 pm. I choose this shift because I have a 4 year old and 7 year old that get out of school at 2:00 pm and need to be picked up. I have no one else to get them. I’ve been with the company 15 years.

Asked on August 28, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be made to stay over and work past your scheduled shift.  The reason is that the majority of employment relationships are what is known as "at will", meaning that an employer can hire/fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease hours and generally impose requirements as they deem fit.  You in turn can choose to work for an employer, or not. 

Unelss there is a stated company policy, or a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, it is permissible.  This also assumes that workplace discrimination was not present here.  However, to the extent that you are non-exempt (ie not a manager, supervisor, etc) and have to work past your 8 regular hour shift, you are entitled to overtime. 


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