What are an employee’s rights regarding having to work overtime?

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What are an employee’s rights regarding having to work overtime?

I was hired for 40 hour work week.  However, my employer schedules me for overtime on evenings and weekends. I am unable to get time off for vacation due to an enormous workload. I put in for time off in 2 months from now but my boss was very mean about it. Additionally, my job requires an impossible amount of physical work. I told the doctor that I couldn’t do the amount of work needed – weekends and evenings. I do not ever get paid overtime; my employer promises me comp days but I only got one once. He constantly gets contracts, then forgets about them until companies give him an ultimatum. Then he wants to do 1 year of work in a month.

Asked on February 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you can be made to work past your scheduled shift (evenings/weekends).  The reason is that the majority of employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  You in turn can work for an employer, or not, your choice. However, if there is a stated company policy, or a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, it is permissible.  I'm also assuming that discrimination is not at play in your case.

However, to the extent that you are non-exempt and have to work past your regular hour shift, you are entitled to overtime.  If you are not being paid accordingly to the law, you need to report this to your state's department of labor (file a complaint) and/or contact an employment law attorney (to file a case).


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