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limits to overtime ?

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  • limits to overtime ?

    Is there any limit on overtime work that you're employer can ask you to do ?
    My x-girlfriend works at a company and at times they ask people to work 60-80 hours a week endlessly.

    I guess I read there are blue laws. You could claim you are religious and won't work sunday is that right ?

    Other than that, are there any laws which limit how much overtime the employer can request ? Also if you are salaried, you are not compenstated.

    She also said that they expected people to come into work even if they are sickand so on. This didn't sound right to me.

  • #2
    MA law does limit an employer's right to require Sunday work. But other than that, with very few, industry specific exceptions (which affect public safety - we're talking truck driver and airline pilot here) neither Federal nor state law limits the number of hours an employee can be required to work.

    Salaried is only a pay method. What matters is whether you are exempt or non-exempt. If you are non-exempt, then even if you are normally paid salary, you still have to be paid overtime when you work it. If you are exempt, then you are paid on the value of your work, not on how many hours you work. An exempt employee never has any legal expectation of any additional compensation over and above their salary. It is your job duties, not your job title and not how you are paid, that determines whether or not you are exempt.

    While I don't agree with it either, especially during flu season, the law does not prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to work when they are sick.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      sunday work ?

      You say there is a limit on working sundays ?

      You can refuse to work sundays ?

      What about jewish people ? They can't refuse to work saterdays which
      is the jewish sabbath ?


      • #4
        Please take this question as a bit of humor, but if your employer/boss required you to work when you are sick, could they have any legal basis to take action against you if you appeared to be trying to make them ill by coughing in their face or close proximity to them ?


        • #5
          I'm not ignoring you, surfdom, I just haven't had a chance to locate the links I want to supply you with, yet. Hang tight, I'll be with you later on.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


          • #6
            Maybe I can help here.

            A good resource for the Blue Laws is at

            The laws permit leave for observances of days of rest for other religions like Judaism, where Sunday is not the "rest day".

            As for the "salaried people don't get overtime compensation" question, she is generally entitled to overtime if she is a nonexempt employee. The pay method has nothing to do with that. Here is a link to get you started thinking about the exempt v. nonexempt question

            As for requiring work when someone's sick, there are many possibilities here under the Family Medical Leave Act, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act, etc.

            Hope that helps.
            This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

            This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.