Can my employer force me to stay past the end of my shift even if that means working outside my scheduled availability times?

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Can my employer force me to stay past the end of my shift even if that means working outside my scheduled availability times?

When I was hired into my current job I informed the store manager that I could only work until 10:00 pm and he agreed that would be fine. However, every night when 10:00 rolls around the other managers inform me that I will have to stay late in order to get the rest of my job done. This means staying an extra 2 hours. Is this legal?

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is completely legal, unless you have an actual employment contract setting forth your hours and shifts--if you do, that contract is enforceable. Otherwise, your employer can set your hours of employment and change extend or change them at will.

Note that if you are an hourly employee, you must, of course, be paid for all hours worked. If you are non-exempt (not exempt from overtime), as almost all hourly and some salaried employees are, you would have to be paid overtime for any hours worked past 40 in a week. If you want to know if you are not exempt from overtime, go to the Department of Labor website; there, the DOL lists the tests to be considered exempt. If you do not meet one or more of the tests, you are not exempt and therefore can get overtime.


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