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Forced Overtime

My question is in regards to forced overtime. I work for a private ambulance company in MA. Their policy states that they can "hold you for up to 2 hours after your shift for operational need". This is not pertaining to dedicated 911 shifts. This is for a private ambulance company that does transfers. It has been brought up many times when they've tried to hold me for 2 hours after my scheduled time. Is this legal?

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Submitted Tue, 01/31/2017 - 09:38

With some very limited exceptions put in place by law (nurses) an employer can legally require you to work whatever shifts and hours they want. They cannot physically prevent you from leaving, but they can fire you if you refuse to stay. As long as you are properly being paid overtime for the hours over 40 per week, an employer can require that you work as many hours as they want. Unfortunately, your only legal options are to accept those hours or quit.

If they are not properly paying you overtime, then you have a wage claim and can sue the employer for three times the wages due, plus attorneys fees.

Atty. David Owens
Grolman LLP



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