Is it legal for my employer to require me to work on their personal property?

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Is it legal for my employer to require me to work on their personal property?

I work at a saw mill but my employer is telling us that we’ll be working in the hay fields around his

home. Is this legal? I haven’t seen anything in the employee handbook about this and he’s threatening to fire anyone that doesn’t go.

Asked on June 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Actually, this is legal so long as the work in question does not present a safety or health hazard to the employee. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. Therefore, unless this action violates company policy, a union agreement or employment contract, it is legal. Also, the employee's treatment must not constitute any form of legally actionable discrimination. Absent that, you can be required to work on your employer's personal property. That having been said, if you are an exempt employee and this works puts you over 40 hours in your workweek, you are entitled to overtime pay.


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