You’ve had an arduous week, your spouse is trying to get ahold of you, and it’s late on a Friday night. Can your boss force you to work overtime? If he or she requests it and you refuse, can you be fired for refusing overtime?
Getting Fired for Refusing OvertimeIt’s unlikely that your boss would choose to fire you for this reason, but it would not be illegal. By law, an employer could require you to work OT and fire you if you refuse. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no set limit on the number of hours an employer can require you to work in a week.
So long as your employer pays you at or above your state’s OT minimum wage, they can require you to work OT. In Texas, the OT minimum wage is $10.88 per hour, one and a half times the normal minimum wage of $7.25. The OT requirement is only met when an employee works 40 or more hours in a single work week. An employee who works a long day, then, doesn’t qualify.
Nearly 50 million American workers, however, are exempt from this OT law. Executive, administrative, outside sales, and similar positions earning more than $455 a week don’t have to be paid OT.
If you are eligible for overtime and your employer refuses to pay you, you may be entitled to file a claim for unpaid overtime. Contact an experienced local employment lawyer to ensure you receive your fair wages for all qualifying OT hours you have worked.