Is it legal to not pay a person time and a half if they work the hours?

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2010

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Is it legal to not pay a person time and a half if they work the hours?

The new owner of the establishment that I work for is Hindu, and because of his faith the men do not do anything at all. I, as a front desk clerk, have been instructed to do the laundry and sweep the outside area (which is something maintenance has always done). I was also informed that if I work more than 40 hours I will not be paid time and a half. None of these things I believe are legal. The people he brought in do not speak English at all. They do not change the sheets on the beds (I’ve been informed of this by guests). I need to know what, if anything, that I  can do?

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you are a non-exempt employee (i.e. you are not in management or a position of authority/supervision), then if you work more than 40 hours per week, you are entitled to be paid overtime for any additional hours. This is the law. If you are not being paid for such time then you can file a complaint with your state's labor department and/or contact an employment law attorney.

As for the type of work that you must do and not getting any help from your fellow employees, the fact is that you probably have no legal recourse regarding this.  Most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that your employer can set the terms and conditons of your employment as it sees fit.  In turn you, as an employee, can choose to work for this employer or no,; your choice.  Absent an employment/union contract or company policy to the contrary, your employer has not violated any law.  However, if you think that you are being treated differently then other employees due to your gender (or race, relifion, etc), they you may have a claim for employment discrimination.  Based on your facts, its not clear.

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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