CanI file a lawsuit for being overworked?

UPDATED: Oct 23, 2011

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CanI file a lawsuit for being overworked?

I work as a warehouse supervisor only making $13 an hour. My employer has me working 12 hour shifts or longer everyday; it is rare that I get a day off. It has become very stressful. I’m working so much that I’m on the verge of loosing custody of my son. I am afraid to say no (to come in on my original days off) at the risk of getting fired.

Asked on October 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no law against overwork--an employer may make an employee work as many hours as the employee likes. (The only exceptionn would be if there is an employment contract setting forth hours; if there is, the employee can enforce the terms of the contract.)

Note that if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you must be paid overtime (time and half; in your case, $19.50) an hour for all hours worked past 40. In California, you must also be paid overtime if you work more than 8 hours in a day, and double time for working more than 12 hours in a day. So from what  you write, you would be seem to need to be paid:

$13.00 per hour for the first 8 hours.

$19.50 per hour for 8 hours 1 minute up to 12 hours.

If you work more  than 12 hours in a day, $26.00 per hour rate for all time past 12 hours.

If you are not paid this, you could contact the department of labor or you could retain an attorney and sue for the all the back overtime you are owed. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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