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Can they really force you to work?

My husband works 12hr night shifts. I am super happy he has a job, but for the past 4-5months he has been being forced to work all the time. In the past 5 weeks he has had 3 days off! I have tried to look up to see if there are any laws preventing employers from forcing employees to work so much, but I can not find anything. We live in Alabama. Can his job really force him (and the other guys he works with) to work this much? He is working at least 84hrs a week, sometimes more. He recently got a round of chemo so he is really tired all the time and working so much is really hard for him. He is supposed to get another one soon, but is scared too because the first one made him so sick and he can't miss work

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:33 PM on Dec. 28, 2009 in About CafeMom

Answers (8)
  • As long as they are paying him, they can make him work as many hours as they need him. Just as long as he gets the required amount of breaks and days off. Talk to his boss and see if they can lessen his work schedule due to his chemo.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:44 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Go to Alamaba's Government website and look up your local work laws.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:44 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Your husband has cancer? I would think his doctor could help him with a note or something? Social securtiy? I am not sure, but it seems that this is excessive, I hope he gets lots of overtime, I do know they must pay that!

    Answer by kimigogo at 12:47 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • they only have to pay overtime if he is an hourly worker, not if he is salary

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 12:51 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Contact your state's department of labor. Wage and hour laws vary by state.

    Answer by rkoloms at 1:38 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • Yes they can do things like mandatory overtime. However if you're husband is undergoing chemo he's eligible for FMLA, basically short or long term disability. He can take off of work for medical reasons (obviously needs to go through HR and fill out the forms) and they can not fire him over it. I'd look into that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • That whole thing sounds crooked. If he has only had three days off in the last five weeks, then no they are not giving him the required time off. It doesn't matter if they are paying him. You need to contact your state labor department now. I have never heard that as long as he is being paid they can work him as much as they want.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:21 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • As mentioned above, there are definitely laws about this kind of thing, and they definitely vary from state to state. I agree that you NEED to research your state's laws. From what you've said all I can say is "That's just wrong." There are laws on how much time off a person can/should get for an average working person - add the fact that your husband has cancer. That's just wrong. Good luck to both of you. =)

    Answer by firenicecream at 4:27 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

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