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Employment Law/Forced overtime

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Question
A relative works for a county clerks office in Florida. Her department is behind in their work due to short staff and the assistant to the Clerk of Courts has said all employees WILL work a mandatory Saturday and Sunday or be terminated on Monday. Many in the department are mothers with young children and have their weekly childcare arrangements covered, but not on weekends. This supervisor seems to think since there are many people "out there" willing to babysit, these women should have no trouble getting a sitter. First, most women will not leave their children with just anyone and second the children will be unfamiliar with new sitters.  There is also the question of religious services on Sunday, which they are being asked to miss. The courthouse is not like a hospital that has to be staffed 24/7. This supervisor also says if they do not get caught up, the state will come in and take over the Clerks office and they will all loose their jobs. I believe he is more worried about his job than theirs. Some of these women's husbands work weekends, so depending on them for childcare is not always possible. The supervisor offered another solution, i.e. for the department to work 8am to 9pm every night during the week. Can they really be forced to work overtime and basically be threatened with termination if they do not. Thank you.

Answer
There is no law that limits the hours an employee can be asked to work. If the employee is exempt they are not paid extra if the employee is non exempt (hourly) than they must be paid time and 1/2 for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

Shirley

I do undertand that the answer is not what you wished to hear. Since there is no law that covers the hours worked I did not give you a website.

The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) regulates employment through the Department of Labor.

Here is the mention within that site and that law where it states that the employee may be asked to work overtime hours. This is a federal law.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/faq.htm
Check under hours you will see that it says: It is about halfway down the page.

The FLSA does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work.

Also if you go a little further it says:

The FLSA has no provisions regarding the scheduling of employees, with the exception of certain child labor provisions. Therefore, an employer may change an employee's work hours without giving prior notice or obtaining the employee's consent (unless otherwise subject to a prior agreement between the employer and employee or the employee's representative).

This is from the U.S. Department of Labor Website...Frequently answered questions.

In Payroll and Human Resources I answer a lot of questions for those that do not like the answer. I should have backed my answer up with documentation I am sending that to you now. Sometimes it is really busy here at work and I want to answer people's questions but don't have a lot of time to give a detailed answer. Next time just let me know that you wish the documentation to back up my answer and I will send you a more detailed answer when I get a free moment to look it up.  The majority of people just want the answer.

Shirley  

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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