What is the maximum hours a day an employee can work in a day without rest?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is the maximum hours a day an employee can work in a day without rest?

My employer has been forcing overtime like crazy, people have been forced back to back shifts at 8 hours a time and have to come back for their regular scheduled shift.

Asked on April 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

For the most part, there is no maximum numbers of hours that an employee can be made to work before having to be given time off. While there are exceptions (airline pilots, certain medical personnel, truckers, etc.), most workers have no limit as to how many consecutive hours/days they can be scheduled to work. That is unless such scheduling violates the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. The fact is that most employment is "at will" so a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination/retaliation). That having been said, all "non-exempt" employees should be paid OT for any hours worked over 40 in their workweek.

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