Can I be forced to work weeks without a day off without being disciplined/terminated?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be forced to work weeks without a day off without being disciplined/terminated?

My boss is on indefinite leave for medical reasons so that leaves me and one other person to open and close the business everyday. Am I obligated to work everyday until help is found? I am not considered management, by the way.

Asked on August 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless this work schedule violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it is legal. The reason is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a business can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). This includes how many day/hours in a row that an employee can be made to work. That having been said, if you are a non-exempt employee (i.e. typically one who is paid hourly), the you must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in your work week.

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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