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Can you be fired for not working overtime?

Working overtime is a common occurrence in many jobs. Today, more employees than ever before are given overtime hours because of the shortage of workers in many industries.

While it does mean working more hours, it’s required that employers pay their overtime workers time and a half for every hour beyond 40 hours.

However, if you are a worker and don’t want to work overtime due to family obligations or just preference, you may wonder if you can say no and avoid any consequences.

Understanding your rights as an employee

Overtime should be something workers want. After all, they get paid more for their time at work. However, if you refuse overtime hours, your employer is within their legal right to fire you.

When you are hired, it’s considered “at-will employment.” This means that your boss has the right to fire you at any time, for any reason. While the reason can’t be because of retaliation or discrimination, any other reason is considered fair.

Are there exceptions to this law?

In California, there is an exception to this rule. It doesn’t regulate the amount of overtime a person can work. However, it is required that employees have a minimum of one day off for every six days they work in a row for four weeks.

It’s also required for overtime to be paid for workers who work more than 40 hours per week or eight hours per day.

Your rights as a worker

California’s laws related to overtime pay are slightly unique from other states. However, it is possible to be fired if you refuse to work overtime. If you are fired, the employer is within their legal rights to do so in most cases.


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