Forced overtime

I am an "at will" employee who's schedule is 7:30 - 4:30 m-f. I have been told that I am required to be at my desk with my voice mails listened to and my emails read and ready to take a call at 7:30. I suggested they change my hours if they want me to come in early and they refused. I even got my raise reduced cause I am concidered late even though I clock in right at 7:30. Can they force me to come in early everyday?

1 answer  |  asked Jul 4, 2003 1:24 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
They can tell you when to begin work, but they must pay you.

An employer can tell you when and how long you can work. Theoretically, an employer can require you to work around the clock for 365 days a year. If you refuse, the employer can terminate you.

The law does require the employer to pay you, however, for all time worked at least at the minimum wage. In addition, the employer must pay you time and one half for each hour over 40 that you work in a week. As a result, most employers settle on a 40 hour work week.

In your case it sounds like your employer is forcing you to work 15 to 30 minutes a day "off the clock." This is improper. You can go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour division and file a complaint. The DOL should audit payroll practices at your employer as a result. You will probably discover that you are either allowed to start checking emails and voice mails at 7:30.


Neil Klingshirn

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Jul 7, 2003 10:36 AM [EST]

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