I have a couple of issues at work but I'll only address one. When I got hired, I was told that the work week would be 35 hours. I agreed that if I had to stay late to complete some work, that I would and I have. However, my employer insists that I come in on Saturdays because the supervisor cannot stay late during the week. That was never part of the agreement. Can my employer force me to work on Saturdays even though I already work full time Monday through Friday? And can I be fired for not coming in on Saturdays?

1 answer  |  asked Apr 12, 2001 1:47 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
They can change their minds

The fact of the matter is that, in New York, with very limited other exceptions, unless you have something very specific in writing that is signed by your employer, your employer can tell you one thing one day, and do the very opposite the next day. This is a result of the employment-at-will doctrine, under which New York operates. It is very harsh, and is really amazing in that two giant corporations involved in a contractual relationship, each with an army of lawyers, cannot legally do to one another what an employer can do to an employee.

So, the short answer to your question is that, despite previous oral agreements, your employer can probably force you to work Saturdays. Actually, your employer can't force you to work any day. But, if you refuse, your employer can fire you. So, its six of one; half-a-dozen of the other.

Under New York State law, you are entitled to one day of rest per week. SO, there are consequences to the employer if he wants you to work 7 days per week.

Also, you are protected by federal and state wage and hour laws. That is, unless you genuinely are in a position that is considered exempt, you are entitled to time and a half for hours beyond 40 hours in a week.

Note that a lot of employers cheat on the wage and hour rules, for example making secretaries salaried employees, thinking that, if an employee is salaried, the employer does not have to pay overtime. That is not the law. And the wage and hour laws are generally applied in a way which favors the employee, unlike a lot in the employment law area.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Apr 13, 2001 09:22 AM [EST]

Answer This Question

Sign In to Answer this Question

Related Questions with Answers

Have an Employment Law question?

Virginia Employment Lawyers

Sheri Abrams Sheri Abrams
Sheri R. Abrams PLLC
Oakton, VA
Gerald Lutkenhaus Gerald Lutkenhaus
Virginia Workers Compensation & Disability Lawyer
Richmond, VA
Matthew Kaplan Matthew Kaplan
The Kaplan Law Firm
Matthew Sutter Matthew Sutter
Sutter & Terpak, PLLC
Annandale, VA
Edward Lowry Edward Lowry
Charlottesville, VA

more Virginia Employment Lawyers