What is the law regarding working non-stop with no days off?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is the law regarding working non-stop with no days off?

I am a laborer and I have been working 20 days straight with no breaks Monday – Sunday. My boss wants to keep this going, and my boss said if we don’t show up on a Saturday or Sunday we are fired. Is there any law being broken here?

Asked on August 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no prohibition on the maximum number of days in a row that an employee can be scheduled to work. The fact is that there is no upper limit on how many days/hours a company can require an employee to work outside of a very few industries (e.g. airline pilots; firemen, truck drivers; doctors/nurses) where hours are limited due to safety concerns. Consequently, unless your schedule violates an employment contract/union agreement or is the result of legally actionable discrimination/retaliation, it is perfectly permissible. That having been said, if you are a non-exempt employee, then to the extent that you work over 40 hours in a week you are entitled to OT. If your schedule is not acceptable to you, unfortunately your only options re to complain and risk termination or quit

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