We recently received a question from a California nurse who asks:
I work three 12-hour shifts per week. Lately we have been short-staffed and my manager has made it mandatory for us to sign up for an extra shift per two-week pay period, thereby making us work overtime. Is this legal?
While the answer to this question depends on the employment agreement you have in place with your particular employer, generally speaking, most at-will employers are able to require overtime if it is necessary for the business. Of course, they also have to pay you overtime wages for working overtime hours.
In such cases, an employer is allowed to terminate your employment should you refuse to work the hours they set. Unfortunately, in most of these at-will cases, your only option if you are dissatisfied with being asked to work additional hours is simply to resign.
If your employer fails to pay you time-and-a-half wages for each hour worked over 40 hours in one week, wage and overtime disputes are one of the areas of employment law that our firm handles. As always, it is recommended that you contact a Los Angeles employment attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and see what options are available to you.
Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment lawyers