Can your employer make you stay for another shift if it’s not in the handbook and if you don’t have a union?

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Can your employer make you stay for another shift if it’s not in the handbook and if you don’t have a union?

I work at a nursing home as a CNA. If the next shift calls off our company is pulling names out of a hat and forcing someone to stay for another 8 hour shift. They are also threatening us by saying that if we don’t stay over they will call the nurse registry and have our licenses taken for abandonment.

Asked on March 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues here:

1) Can your employer require you to work an extra shift, even if its not in the handbook? Almost certainly yes--so long as you do not have an employment contract specifying or limiting your hours, your employer can require you to work extra hours or extra shifts. Of course, if you are an hourly employee, you must be paid for all hours worked, and paid overtime when working more than 40 hours in a week.

2) Can they have your licenses taken away for abandonment--that depends on the specific facts of that situation and the rules delineating when a nurse has abandoned his/her patients and what the consequences for doing so are. One could imagine circumstances under which this is a credible threat--and circumstances under which it is not.


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