Can my employer make me work past my shift?
Question Details: My employer knew for 24 hours that there was no one to replace me at 7:00 am. They asked me to stay for 2 hours. I told them no. I work as a professional nurse. How can I leave work without abandoning my patients?
Your employer, not you, sets your hours and can change or extend them at will. Your employer therefore may require you to work past your normal shift whenever it wants to do so: if you are hourly, however, you'd have to be paid for the additional time worked and also for overtime as applicable.
The only exception would be if you have a written employment contract (including a union or collective bargaining agreement) setting your shifts or hours, or limited the employer's ability to change your hours, etc. If you do, the employer is bound by its terms and cannot do anything barred by the contract.
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