Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Can an employer demand overtime?

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  • #875618 Reply

    Hi, I am new at a job. I was a career “re-entry” and was at home mom many years. I have been at job 4 months and now they are implying I may have to do overtime. I already work 8 hour days. I am trying to move, i can’t work overtime right now. This is a mid sized business and many managers leave early for the day sometimes 4 or 5. I stay until 6 AND they want overtime from me….

    What should I do? The job has turned out to be quiet a “churn” it’s order entry, I have put in 100’s of orders….it’s never ending. There are no advancement opportunities and many people have left my position after they burnout. I want to make it to 9 months then start looking elsewhere (so I can concentrate on my move). How should I navigate the pressure to put in overtime?

    #875638 Reply

    You need to look up employment laws in your state, and then see if they directly ask you to work overtime. Come back after you know the law and we can give more advice.

    #875640 Reply
    Miss MJMiss MJ

    Assuming you’re in the U.S. As such, although some states may have additional rules re pay based on the number of hours per day you work, generally under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law, yes, your employer can require you to work longer hours, but (assuming you’re not an exempt employee, which it doesn’t sound like you are in an entry-level, order entry, non-managerial position) they must pay you one and a half times your hourly rate if you work more than 40 hours per week. You can say no, I suppose, but I don’t know if there would be any job protections to keep them from firing you just based on you not wanting to work the hours that your boss believes you need to work to get the job done.

    #875702 Reply

    I’m not an employment lawyer but there are different rules whether you are exempt or non-exempt. Check your employment classification and your state laws.

    Some companies will demand overtime as part of their overall model. Working off the clock if you are non-exempt is illegal and a lot of companies abuse this.

    Don’t feel that you have to stay 9 months. It will likely take a few months to find a new job anyway, you might as well start now. As for why you’re leaving so soon – a great point is just that the job discussed during your interviews and training was very different from the job they actually asked you to perform. Don’t mention the overtime thing.

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