Can my employer make me work mandatory overtime if I have back pain due to an herniated disk pinching the sciatic nerve?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can my employer make me work mandatory overtime if I have back pain due to an herniated disk pinching the sciatic nerve?

Medicine helps with the pain but it doesn’t completely take it away, I’m going to get an epidural injection soon. I am able to work up to 9 hours but they want me to work 10 to 12 hours a day and 8 hours on Saturday I work in a factory.

Asked on August 20, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can require you to work mandatory overtime. An employer generally has free discretion to require overtime as long as they pay for it, if the employee is overtime eligible if the employer is not overtime eligible, they don't even have to pay anything extra for it. While employers must make "reasonable accommodations" for employees with disabilities, even temporary disabilities, this means doing something not too expensive or disruptive to let the employee do his/her job--but the employee still needs to be do the job for which he or she is employed and must work all required hours. So, suppose that you normally stand to work but could work while sitting, if the seat were the right height then a reasonable accomodation would be getting you a tall-enough stool to sit at. But they could still require you to work all the hours they would normally require.

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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