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Consecutive work hours - "Uncle, UNCLE!" Virginia

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  • Consecutive work hours - "Uncle, UNCLE!" Virginia

    First, I have browsed this forum for a while and it always has good info - even if its scary and frustrating to most. I was introduced into what can and can't be done by an employer right out of High School, when a "Dad" run business cut my hours to exactly an amount of pay that just happen to match my Unemployment pay; imagine that... Of course, I could file for Unemployment but would be negated to zero because of my pay. I could not quit because I would not qualify for Unemployment AND I asked to be laid-off in which case he refused! That piece of work is now in the Va House of Delegates! Shows to go ya...

    QUESTION: I can not find anything that stipulates the maximum hours that can be demanded to be worked consecutively. I thought it used to be 8 but I also know things changed several years ago where you used to get OT for anything over 8 but has now become anything over 40 per week. I have been scheduled to work 16 straight hours, no breaks, no lunch, in a so-called mission critical job where they are saving $ by natural attrition as a vacant position has not been filled after almost 1 year and others are now out of work for various reasons. However, it should be noted that no one typically works over 8 per day on any shift. I have found a few references to this issue in CA law and a few other states, but very few; so here in VA I suspect I could be required to work up to 40 hours straight (stopping there simply because they would not pay O.T.). TRUE/FALSE/COMMENTS???

    What is rather funny is the few references I found in relation to "work hours" is from WHD for Green Card carriers which basically states THEY can not be required to work hours that are not industry standard. Good thing MY gument is watching out for us citizens...

    My last thought is that no Employer in their right mind, in a mission critical position (possibly dangerous from mistakes or inattention of worn out employees) would take a chance on the liability issues which could easily arise AND which may be why I don't see much about such foolishness. YES/NO?

    Again, Thanks as this is a great place to look at real life employment issues!
    Last edited by way2tired; 09-02-2008, 11:29 PM.

  • #2
    In Virginia, as with most states, there is no limit to the number of hours that can be required to be worked consecutively. Nor is Virginia one of the three states where overtime must be paid for over 8 hours. Only when you have worked more than 40 hours in a workweek is overtime due. There has never been a Federal (or, to my knowledge, a Virginia) law requiring overtime over 8 hours in a day.

    Virginia does not require breaks of any kind. I do not approve of an employer requiring an employer to work 8 hours a day, let alone 16 hours a day, without a break but it is legal under both Federal and Virginia law (as well as the laws of approximately half the states).

    No employer is required to lay off an employee because the employee asks them to.
    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
      Thanks for the confirmation. You would be surprised with whom I am employed! ...or... maybe not.

      One other question: I saw in an old post (2005) where it was mentioned that VA had a limit on consecutive days worked. It was said that one day in seven was required 'off'. I found no evidence to back this up in the VA code. Having just come off a 7 day work week & a co-worker coming off a 10 day work week; I thought I'd ask to make sure!?

      RE: Last stament:
      I understood at that time too that they did not have to lay me off. This avenue was actually suggested by a great person at the Unemployment Commission. She noticed my hours were cut to 18 per week, thinking it odd, did the math and discovered that at 17 hours I could file to collect a small sum. She found it curious and made the suggestion also thinking I would get the answer I got! That was just my first introduction to devious nature of certian employers.
      Last edited by way2tired; 09-03-2008, 06:31 PM.


      • #4
        VA had signed such a provision into law very briefly; it was so poorly written and provided so much more than the original intent that it was quickly reversed.
        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.


        • #5
          Thanks for your quick response!!!

          Looking through VA code there appear to be almost as many sections "repealed" as valid - so I'm not surprised at your statement. It would be interesting to find the repealed sections and just read through them to see what was attempted, taken away, etc. BUT... that's just another effort and right now I'm just WAY2TIRED!

          Anywho, a big THANKS again!!!!!!


          • #6
            Effective July 1, 2005, Virginia has repealed its Day of Rest law, which had required all employers to provide all employees with one 24-hour rest period each week and allowed non-managerial employees in many industries to chose Saturday or Sunday as their day of rest. Many industries were exempt from the day of rest and Saturday or Sunday off requirement, including manufacturing, restaurants, and hotels.

            In July 2004, this otherwise little-known law received national attention when the Virginia legislature inadvertently repealed these key exemptions to the day or rest requirement. Employers in many industries became concerned they would not be able to operate if they could not require their employees to work on weekends. Within several days, however, the Virginia legislature re-codified the exemptions.

            Even after the exemptions were reinstituted, the Day of Rest law continued to apply to many employers in retail, telecommunications, and other heavily non-exempt industries. As of July 1, 2005, the effective date of the repeal, no employers are bound by the Saturday or Sunday requirement or the 24-hour rest requirement.
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