Overtime and changing hours

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Overtime and changing hours

Currently my company requires OT from employees. When I was hired it was specified that there may be occasional OT. 8 years later they are putting us off and on overtime multiple times per month. Currently as of 11/15/16 they have changed our hours 42 times this year. Is this a legal practice?

Asked on November 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes how many hours to schedule it workers. This is true so long as such action does not violate the terms of any applicable employment contract or union agreement. Accordingly, since you are "non-exempt", then your company is a under a legal obligation to pay you OT for all hours that you work over 40 in your work week (but that's about the only thing it is required to do in this regard). For your part, you can either accept your schedule, complain but risk termination, or quit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is perfectly legal unless you have a written employment contract specifying your hours. In the absence of a written contract, your employer is free to change your hours at will, including increasing them and/or requiring frequent overtime. The employer's only obligation, if you are hourly, is to pay you for all hours worked and pay overtime as applicable (i.e. when working more than 40 hours in a week).


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