Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Do you know? Mandatory overtime

We should all know that any hours a non-exempt employee works in excess of 40 in any given week must be paid at a premium rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. But, do you know whether there are any laws that inhibit an Ohio employer’s right to require that employees work more than 40 hours in a week?

The answer is no. An Ohio employer can legally require that its employees work overtime. There are no federal or Ohio laws that prohibit or otherwise limit the right of an employer to require its employees to work as many hours as an employer sees fit. Thus, an employer can require its employees to work more than eight hours in day and more than 40 hours in a week, without restriction. As extreme as it may seem, an employer can require an employee to work 24 straight hours, or work 80 or more hours in a week. Moreover, if an employee refuses to work overtime, an employer can discipline that employee, up to and including termination.

The only restriction placed on overtime work is that it must be paid at the statutory premium rate. Now, retaining employees that you require to work 20 hours a day or 80 hours week after week is another question entirely…