As an employer, you try your best to set an optimal work schedule for your employees and to give them notice in advance if it changes. It sounds like you are being fair in the situations you describe. The number of hours in a workweek can exceed 40, but healthcare facilities aren’t allowed to force employees to take a longer shift. You are correct that they must pay you every cent for that time. Depending on your state's overtime laws, you may be entitled to overtime if you work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period. One way this is done for employees-at-will is to have a disclaimer in the employee handbook that clearly states changes can be made by the employer as necessary and there is no contract of employment or employment conditions, express or implied. The answer is yes, an employer can force employees to work mandatory overtime. However, things don’t always go as planned. New York. The Fair Labor Standards Act is responsible for establishing the 40-hour work week for employees. It depends on whether you are in a "right to work" state or have any union representation. For example, if you work a 2 a.m.-10:30 a.m. shift, and you are scheduled to return at 11 p.m. that same evening, your hour between 11 p.m. and midnight might be counted as overtime. Companies have wide discretion or latitude to make employees work longer than their normally scheduled shifts. They can leave you unrelieved, but you could always quit. The idea behind reporting time pay is that employers should give sufficient notice to employees if work isn’t available, so that they can … Because this was less than half of your scheduled shift, you are owed reporting time pay. I know when I used to be a cashier, there were several times that I got stuck on a register for an hour after my shift was over because we were too busy for me to leave. That means that employees who may be depending on working 26 hours a week and whose schedule is changed to cancel a shift, can still depend on “equivalent” wages. Your employer must pay you for half of your scheduled shift, which is four hours. Same with telling someone to stay until you can get there- That is just a safety issue- and again, you aren't asking them to stay an entire extra shift. Employers can also terminate an employee for refusal to work the mandated overtime. If this happened to you, i'd get Open Door the situation with your Store Manager immediately, and if it isn't resolved i'd get Ethics or your Market Manager involved. They cannot make you by force or anything but they can fire you or replace you for leaving. Under the employment at will doctrine, and employer may alter the terms of employment, including work hours at any time. Employers are prohibited from requiring that hourly nurses labor for longer than a mutually agreed-upon and regularly scheduled shift every day. Management can NEVER force any hourly associate to stay past their scheduled shift. You just may lose your job. Making someone stay through breakfast is totally different than telling them they have to stay through a whole shift. The main limitation on this power is that working past shift end is still "work"--that is, if the employee is an hourly employee, he or she *must* be paid for the off-shift work at their normal rate. If they insist you stay, then you can leave if you wish. In New York, mandatory overtime is illegal. Yes, you can be made to stay over and work past your scheduled shift. 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