Is it legal to make an employee work 7 days of 12 hour shifts?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to make an employee work 7 days of 12 hour shifts?

Currently, my husband works for a manufacturing company that has recently changed employee hours to 12 hour shifts, 2 days on, 2 days off, working every other weekend. However, they do not have enough employees to cover all 3 shifts, lately some have been required to work 7 days of 12 hour shifts. Can the employee decline to work those extra days?

Asked on July 22, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. The fact is that the law does not require that an employee have a day off or limit how many hours they may work (with some exceptions for health care workers, pilots, etc.). However, some states do mandate certain break times and/or lunch periods. Also, if he is not an "exempt" employee (an hourly employee and a few salaried), then your husband must be paid overtime whenever he works more than 40 hours in a week.

As for declining the extra hours of work, it depends on whether or not he as protection under an employment contract, union agreement, company policy, etc. If not then he is an "at will" employee. As such his employer can dictate the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit; this includes how many hours/days that an employee can be made to work. If he fails to comply then he can be termianterd. For his part he has the right to either work the hours or quit. 


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption