Can I Get Fired for Refusing to Work Overtime?

To the dismay of many employees who want to get out of having to work beyond a normal 40-hour workweek, there are few ways around being forced by your employer to work overtime. From industries that require manual labor in warehouses or jobsites to positions that take place in an office environment to many other types of work, it is often the employer’s prerogative to compel its workers to put in extra hours, and it is even legal in many cases for them to fire people for not complying with the demand.

Are Any Workers Spared from These Requirements?

These rules apply to full-time workers who keep a normal workweek and shift workers alike. There are instances in which individual employment contracts spell out different arrangements, or where collective bargaining agreements determine how overtime rules apply to union members or other worker collectives.

However, in most cases, federal and local laws allow employers to impose overtime mandates. In fact, there is no limit on the amount of overtime an employer can require as long as the worker is over 16 years old and the additional work is paid fairly.

What Laws Dictate Overtime Rules?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was established at the federal level to institute laws that address issues of overtime as well as minimum wage, minor workers, and certain recordkeeping requirements. 

State and local laws may create standards that apply more specifically, but most employers adhere to the rules set forth in the FLSA.

What Does the FLSA Specify about Overtime?

Overtime is defined by the FLSA as any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a single work week. The statute requires that any hours over this threshold must be paid at one- and one-half times the regular pay rate.

The FLSA does not apply when an employee works more than eight hours in a day unless these extra hours put them over 40 hours for the week. Overtime pay is not required for working weekends, holidays, or regular days off unless they exceed the weekly 40-hour regular-pay limit. 

Which Workers Are Exempt from the FLSA Overtime Rules?

Some workers not covered under the FLSA include:

  • Retail commission sales or service workers
  • Seasonal workers
  • Farm workers
  • Salaried professionals, administrators, or executives

Which Jobs Have Their Own Set of Overtime Rules?

Some industries, such as airline travel and trucking, are governed by federally regulated safety rules that require rest time for pilots and drivers. These industries are not subject to FLSA overtime standards.

South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Pursue Justice for Employees Who Work Overtime

Laws exist that serve to ensure that you are paid fairly for working overtime. Although your employer has the right to require you to work more than 40 hours in one week, you are entitled to overtime pay for those extra hours. The South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, can help you determine if you are owed back pay for overtime hours you put in at work, and we can see that you receive the back pay you deserve. Call us today at 856-235-7075 or contact us online for a free consultation. With office locations in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.