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No days off-forced to work Colorado

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  • No days off-forced to work Colorado

    My fiance works for a company that is very understaffed. He has been working 90+ hours per week. They pay him in accordance with overtime laws, but they do not allow him to have days off. He has literally not had a day off in over a month. He's home long enough to sleep. 7 days a week, every week. He is not a contract employee, but a regular full-time employee with full benefits. Not only is he not given regular days off, he can't schedule days off either. We needed to move our stuff out here because we finally got our place and he requested one day off to move our stuff 300 miles. The day before the move, his boss said "too bad, we have work." even though he had scheduled the day off two weeks in advance. Is any of this legal?

    If it is legal, I know that there are definitely other illegal things going on. He has a CDL and drives a DOT vehicle. There are rules about how much time he has to have off between shifts, but they blatantly disregard the rules. He is forced to lie on his logs (although his time sheets are correct because the documents go to two different divisions of the company and are not reconciled to each other.)

    Can anyone explain his rights to me? He is literally burning out and I'm concerned for his safety. He operates heavy machinery and I worry that he's going to get hurt. I keep pushing him to go to his HR department, but he is concerned that if he rocks the boat, they will find an excuse to fire him. His contract states that he can't go to work for a competitor for at least 2 years, so he won't be able to find work in his field if he loses his job. I told him that they can't fire him for talking with HR, but like he said, they could find another reason.

    The catch-22 to all of this is that he is their best guy, so they always send him to the important jobs (which is most of them) because the other workers are practically useless. Why do the hard workers always get punished for being good?

  • #2
    A few States require "one day of rest in seven." I poked around CO's Department of Labor web site and could find no such requirement for Colorado however. http://www.coworkforce.com/lab/ if you'd care to take a look yourself.

    Why do the hard workers always get punished for being good? They don't always get punished; it depends whether the employer is stupid and short-sighted enough to be sure their best workers quit to go work somewhere else where they'll be appreciated and treated accordingly.

    I don't blame you for being worried; from the sleep/rest deprivation your fiance is experiencing, it sounds like he's an accident waiting to happen. I think he should show the non-compete agreement to an experienced attorney to discover if it's even enforceable. That will vary considerably by State but typically, the courts in every State take a dim view on depriving someone from earning a living therefore non-compete agreements must be very narrowly defined.

    What else your fiance wants to do is up to him, whether it's to tell HR what's going on, file a complaint with the DOT, and/or start looking for a new job.

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