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My employer next in command to the CEO has just sent an email instructing all
salaried employee are required to volunteer at a parade on a Saturday in
December unless there’s a medical reason or we have to work on the weekend.
We’re not being compensated for the volunteer hours.
I would like to know what are my rights if I choose not to go.
Asked on November 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia
M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
As an employee, you are required to attend whatever functions, meetings, etc. as mandated by your company. The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, a business can set the terms of work much as it sees fit. This is true even if the event occurs on a worker's day off. Accordingly, you must volunteer as instructed unless doing so violates the terms of a union agreement/employment contract or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination. That having been said, this time is considered to be work time and next month the new overtime law will be in effect. This means that even though you are a salaried employee, if you make $913 per week (or $47,476 a year) or less, you are entitled to be paid OT if such time puts you over 40 in your work week.