What are my rights regarding mandatory overtime?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights regarding mandatory overtime?

I work in manufacturing for a large company. I work 4/10 hour shifts from Monday-Thursday but I work a

significant amount of overtime on Fridays. I often work half days which end at 11:30 but occasionally work full 10’s. The company has encouraged its employees to schedule all appointments Friday afternoons and to notify them of your commitment. They don’t notify you about overtime until a day beforehand. I currently have a standing appointment with a counselor Friday afternoons to deal with the fallout from a rape. I followed their scheduling recommendations but they have indicated I won’t be allowed to refuse overtime and demanded a note to consider it. I want to keep this confidential but also know that my state affords few protections to workers and does allow mandatory overtime. Do I have any recourse or will I be at risk of losing my job? I have made it clear to them I will work as much of the overtime shift as possible before my appointment.

Asked on January 19, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have protection against this mandatory overtime policy under the terms of an  employment contrat or union agreement, you have no claim here. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discriminaton). Accordingly, you can be terminated for not working all overtime that you are scheduled for. In fact, as an "at will" worker you can be fired for no reason or any reason at all.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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