Can my HR department at work force only me to work mandatory overtime?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my HR department at work force only me to work mandatory overtime?

My job recently lost many employees. They do not have enough staff. I work as a night clerk at a warehouse. The office manager refuses to work weekends and is now telling me that himself and HR department will force me to work day shift weekends even after I’ve been working my night shift all week. They are only trying to force me to work this overtime. I am single mom of 2 children and my weekends are the only time I really can do things with my children. Can my employer do this to me?

Asked on November 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it can unless you can prove some form of actionable discrimination. In other words, are you being treated differently due to your gender, age (over 40), disability, race, religion, nationality, etc.? If so, then you would have a claim. However, you did indicate this to be the situation. That having been said, if this treatment violates the terms of a union agreement"or employment contract, then you would have a case. Bottom line, in an "at will" work relationship, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit.

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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