How many hours can a non-exempt employee be forced to work in a week?

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2011

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How many hours can a non-exempt employee be forced to work in a week?

My fiance recently graduated with his bachelor’s degree in biology. He has worked at a vineyard for several years now, and was just hired on by a competitor who promised to teach about the trade and wine making. After just a few months, he is pulling upwards of 110 hours a week, physical labor. There have been several instances where he has been given just a couple of hours notice that he will be leaving for another property 6 hours away for an undetermined amount of time (so far, 11 days has been the shortest time). This past Sunday was his first scheduled day off in over a month.

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Does your boyfriend have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibits such scheduling? Is there a company policy prohibiting this? Is he being singled out to work such hours due to some form of actionable discrimination? If not, then I'm afraid that there is no limit to the number of hours that he can be required to work. This is true whether or not he is an exempt or non-exempt employee. However, if he is truly non-exempt, then any hours he works over 40 in 1 week must be paid to him as overtime. That is at time and a half (1 1/2 his hourly rate of pay). If he is not receiving this pay, then he can contact your state's department of labor and file a complaint.

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