Yes, Your Boss Can Require You to Work Crazy Hours

by Evil HR Lady on November 10, 2017

I am an exempt employee and work where many, many hours have now become the standard. One night we were required to stay until 11:30 p.m. After a 7:30 a.m. Start time. At a certain point are there any protections for workers in this class? We cannot be expected to work until all hours of the night on a consistent basis. Being salaried kinda stinks.  What, if anything can be done? My workplace found out I have begun tracking my hours and are most unhappy.

To read the answer, click here: Yes, Your Boss Can Require You to Work Crazy Hours

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr Dependable, Clinical, Intellectual, Cynical November 10, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Salary serf on a 50-, 60-, or 70-hour-per-week “death march”. Welcome to America: like the job, it’s love it or leave it!

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Maria Rose November 10, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Nice article suggestions for approaching the situation described in article. Plus the fact, the one who wrote in, identifies themselves as an exempt salary employee– which means they basically work per assignment. Apparently, they never expected to have to get job (assignment) done within a limited time factor (hence the longer than normal day).
You gave a very positive spin considering that you had limited information on type of job.

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Mr Dependable, Clinical, Intellectual, Cynical November 11, 2017 at 1:46 pm

It’s the American Way for Culling the Herd:
http://www.evilhrlady.org/2012/10/forced-to-resign-a-rant.html
There’s no defense against being assigned to clean the Augean Stables.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labours_of_Hercules#Fifth_labour:_Augean_stables

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grannybunny November 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

I had a job like that once. Sometimes, moving on is the only option. However, working those kind of hours — especially, over an extended period of time — wears you out so much and monopolizes so much of your time, that it makes a good job search extremely difficult.

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Nicholas Moses November 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm

I’ve read that 50 hours is the threshold after which productivity begins to fall of sharply, and that it tanks so fast after 55 that a 70-hour work week is no more productive than a 55-hour one.

“Remember, no job is worth destroying your life and health over”

If only everyone believed this.

In France it’s illegal to work employees more than 48 hours per week, even if you pay overtime. For “cadre” employees, roughly the equivalent of U.S. “exempt” employees, there is a bit more leeway but the courts consider it abusive to regularly work them excessive hours and have argued that their employers are obligated to try to keep them down to an average of 35 (or 40, if they are given RTT days to compensate for the reduced work week since 2000). Employers are consequently required to meet regularly with “cadre” employees to discuss their working hours and find a solution if they are regularly going overboard.

And yet in some sectors, notably banking, it is simply part of the culture to work till you drop dead, regardless of what the law says. And no one in those sectors is going to complain about their employers to labour courts, lest they kill their careers in vitro. In their minds that huge windfall is just around the corner and they gotta trot, trot, trot and pull ahead to land it.

Of course we all work to make a living. But it’s sad to watch people destroy themselves working *for money*.

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D Williams November 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm

This is the reason I hated doing GL Accounting. Month ends were ridiculous. I worked I’m manufacturing for many years. I recall one month end the facility was closed for a long July 4th holiday but my manager, the Controller, required her team to work on the 3rd which was on a Saturday. It turned out to be a wasted day as we waited for month end reports to complete only to learn about 6 hours into the day that no one was there in the computer department to kick off the reports we had been waiting on. Seems she failed to confirm with IT management her needs for the holiday weekend. So me and my team mates lost a day off basically since we were salaried.

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