What can I do if your employer makes you work past your schedule time and doesn’t give you a break?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do if your employer makes you work past your schedule time and doesn’t give you a break?

I work in the fast food industry in
Illinois. I was scheduled to work from
4pm to 11pm. My manager decided to make
me stay past my schedule time to make me
close dishes, which I was never supposed
to in the first place. I didn’t get out
of there until about 230am, plus they
didn’t give me a break. Also they broke
company policy where no one can leave
until everyone is done at close. What
should I do?

Asked on April 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Your employer not you, sets your schedule and can change it at will: the employer can make you work past your normal schedule since, after it, it determines your schedule. The employer can make you work when and as long as it likes.
2) If you work more than 40 hours in a week and are non-exempt (and if you are paid on an hourly, not salary, basis, you are definitely non-exempt), you must be paid overtime for all time past 40 hours.
3) You must get a single 20 minute unpaid break for food if you work more than 7 1/2 hours, which you did.
4) The company sets company policy, and so can change it at will.
In short, the only thing they actually did wrong was to not give you a short unpaid meal/food break. If that happens repeatedly or regularly, contact the department of labor.

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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