The use of mandatory overtime often causes contention, but there are no federal rulings that prohibit its use, nor do laws prevent an employer from firing a person who refuses to work mandatory overtime. However, several states have outlawed mandatory overtime in health care professions.
How do shift work operations assign overtime?
Data from 341 North American shift work operations shows that:
- 73% first asked for volunteers, and then used mandatory overtime if needed because of lack of volunteers.
- 20% of facilities reported relying exclusively on voluntary overtime
- 7% reported relying exclusively on mandatory overtime.
Many workers, both salaried and hourly, who feel the pressure to deliver results or impress management end up working overtime voluntarily. Though this overtime is voluntary, it can often take a large toll on workers if it becomes a chronic work pattern, resulting in many of the same issues associate with mandated overtime.A study at Cornell University revealed that employees who experience high levels of supervisory pressure to work overtime are 66% more likely to experience depression than those who have moderate to low supervisory pressure. In combination with the higher depression comes higher levels of stress, job-escape drinking problems, absenteeism, and multiple occurrences of injuries at work (only 9% of employees with no supervisory pressure to work overtime reported multiple occurrences of injuries, compared to 16% with high supervisory pressure).
Learn More about Overtime
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