Is it legal in NY state for an employer to tell 1 employee he can’t have overtime due to the department losing money but let others have overtime?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal in NY state for an employer to tell 1 employee he can’t have overtime due to the department losing money but let others have overtime?

The service manager was demoted to service tech. He went from salary exempt to hourly. He was told that he could not have overtime because he costed the service department money when he was the manager. Also, the manager in the store was running his mouth and degrading this person to all of the other employees are there any laws that cover this?

Asked on August 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is completely legal. An employer has complete, 100% control over how many hours employees must or may work, and whether employees can work overtime, and can refuse to allow an employee, several employees, or all employees to have overtime, at the employer's sole option. Furthermore, there is no law requiring employers to treat employees fairly or equally: they can let other employees work overtime while refusing it to this employee. And similarly, no law requires respectful, fair, professional treatment of employees: a manager can "run[] his mouth and degrad[e]" an employee at will. Remember: employment in this country is "employment at will": in a nutshell, that means employees have no rights at work.

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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