My employer is forcing us to work overtime. I thought overtime was voluntary. What is the name of the law that allows or doesn't allow it?
The name of the law is "at will employment" and it says that your employer can terminate you for any reason except an unlawful one. Terminating an employee for refusing overtime or being unavailable for overtime is not an unlawful reason for termination.
No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship set forth in a written document executed by the client and by me or a member of my firm. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. I can give advice, make recommendations and answer specific questions only after reviewing the evidence and documents applicable to a specific client and following a personal meeting in my office in which the relevant facts can be developed and analyzed. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.
As a general rule, an employer can require its employees to work as many hours as it wants. Some safety-sensitive jobs have laws that limit work hours (e.g., heavy truck drivers, commercial airline pilots). Also, some employees are covered under an employment contract or labor agreement, and those agreements may limit the employer's power to overtime,. You may be entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40.
My answers to questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information only, and are not intended to be legal advice. Employment law issues typically require a careful case-by-case analysis. Consequently, if you feel that you need legal advice, I would encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney in your area.
Overtime is just as voluntary as any other hours you work. You cannot be forced to work. However, the law also does not protect your right to refuse to work overtime. This is at-will employment.
There are certain jobs, such as commercial truck driving, where there are statutory limits on how many hours you can work without a rest period. Your employment may not be at-will because you work under an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement that limits the hours you work or protects your ability to refuse to work more than your set schedule. If these particular conditions apply then you may have recourse if your employer takes action against your employment for refusing to work overtime.
Unfortunately, an employer can make working overtime hours a condition of your employer and terminate you if you refuse. the upside is non-exempt employees must be paid time and a half after working 40 hours.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline