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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


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

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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