Can my employer make me work past my shift?

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Can my employer make me work past my shift?

My employer knew for 24 hours that there was no
one to replace me at 7am. They asked me to stay
for 2 hours. I told them no. I work as a
professional nurse. How can I leave work
without abandoning my patients?

Asked on July 20, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Your employer, not you, sets your hours and can change or extend them at will. Your employer therefore may require you to work past your normal shift whenever it wants to do so: if you are hourly, however, you'd have to be paid for the additional time worked and also for overtime as applicable.
The only exception would be if you have a written employment contract (including a union or collective bargaining agreement) setting your shifts or hours, or limited the employer's ability to change your hours, etc. If you do, the employer is bound by its terms and cannot do anything barred by the contract.


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