CanI file a lawsuit for being overworked?

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CanI file a lawsuit for being overworked?

I work as a warehouse supervisor only making $13 an hour. My employer has me working 12 hour shifts or longer everyday; it is rare that I get a day off. It has become very stressful. I’m working so much that I’m on the verge of loosing custody of my son. I am afraid to say no (to come in on my original days off) at the risk of getting fired.

Asked on October 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no law against overwork--an employer may make an employee work as many hours as the employee likes. (The only exceptionn would be if there is an employment contract setting forth hours; if there is, the employee can enforce the terms of the contract.)

Note that if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you must be paid overtime (time and half; in your case, $19.50) an hour for all hours worked past 40. In California, you must also be paid overtime if you work more than 8 hours in a day, and double time for working more than 12 hours in a day. So from what  you write, you would be seem to need to be paid:

$13.00 per hour for the first 8 hours.

$19.50 per hour for 8 hours 1 minute up to 12 hours.

If you work more  than 12 hours in a day, $26.00 per hour rate for all time past 12 hours.

If you are not paid this, you could contact the department of labor or you could retain an attorney and sue for the all the back overtime you are owed. Good luck.


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