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How many continuous hours may one work? Washington

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  • How many continuous hours may one work? Washington

    While working for an employer in Snohomish county of Washington State I was required to work in excess of 60 hours within three days with no relief. I was allowed the normal 10 minutes breaks required by state law, but during such breaks I was on-call. I was the sole employee present during the three days. My question is simple: How many continuous hours can a company force an employee to work?

  • #2
    In addition to the 10 minute breaks, WA requires that (at minimum) a 30 minute meal break (be offered) if the shift lasts over 5 hours. If both employee and employer agree, the employee may be permitted to work through the meal break.

    As far as maximum hours is concerned, WA has no state mandate that regulates this. Your employer can make you work as many hours as needed. The only exception is if you are under 18 years old.

    Useful links:
    http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRight...ks/default.asp
    http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRight...ly/default.asp
    Last edited by robb71; 07-22-2006, 02:22 PM.

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    • #3
      Over worked

      I understand the employer has the power, but at what time is it unsafe. Working up to 12 hours a day for 11 days until 1 or 2 days off and then repeat the schedule. I can't believe this doesn't break some labor law.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by debbiesoup View Post
        I can't believe this doesn't break some labor law.
        It doesn't at the federal level or in most states (some rare exceptions for some states and some exceptions based upon the job).

        It is nuts to demand folks to work that kind of schedule, but not illegal in most places. If it is a short time thing, the employer can probably get away with it, but a steady diet of 12 hour days, seven days a week is a recipe for disaster.

        The employer loses, in the long run, by burning out the best workers, who will seek other jobs.
        Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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        • #5
          Deleted. Somehow I managed to post twice.
          Last edited by ScottB; 11-12-2006, 10:22 AM.
          Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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