Can exempt employees be made to work 72 hour shifts?

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Can exempt employees be made to work 72 hour shifts?

Can an exempt teacher be forced to attend a 72 hour field trip in which they are the primary supervisor of

children?

Asked on June 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Whether exempt or non-exepmt, absent certain regulated industires (i.e. airline pilot, truck driver, etc.), there is no legal limit on the amount of hours/days in a row that an employee can be scheduled to work. Accordingly, absent a union/empolyment contract to the contrary or some for of legally actionable discrimination, you have no claim here.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, they can be. There is no limit to how many hours (e.g. a 72-hour field trip) an employee can be made to work (even non-exempt, hourly employees have no limits, though they at least must be paid for all hours worked, including overtime as applicable). Employers have total control over hours worked, except 1) if there is a contract (including union agreement) to the contrary; or 2) the employee is in some industry (e.g. truck driver or pilot) where hours are regulated for safety reasons.


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