Topic:
HOURS OF WORK; LABOR (GENERAL); EMPLOYMENT (GENERAL);
Location:
HOURS OF WORK;

OLR Research Report


January 12, 2001

 

2001-R-0061

MANDATORY OVERTIME

By: Lynn Marx, Research Attorney

You asked about federal and state laws involving mandatory overtime.

SUMMARY

In general, no federal law limits the number of hours an adult may work in a day or the number of days in a week. While some states have laws requiring a day of rest or observation each week, Maine is the only state that specifically limits the number of hours of overtime an employer can require an employee to work in a 2-week period. Many states have laws limiting the number of hours certain categories of workers and professions may work.

FEDERAL LAWS

The most comprehensive regulation of hours of work is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA does not limit the number of hours an adult may work in a day or a week (29 U.S.C. 201-219). Federal laws and regulations do limit hours for certain professions such as truck drivers, train engineers, air traffic controllers and airline pilots.

STATE LAWS

Some states, including Connecticut, have laws requiring a day of rest each week. A few states, including Connecticut, prohibit employers from requiring employees to work on the employees' Sabbath. Maine is the only state that has a general law limiting the number of hours an employee can be required to work in a 2-week period. Effective August 11, 2000, Maine employers may not require an employee to work more than 80 hours of overtime in any consecutive 2-week period (26 M.R.S.A. 603). The law does not apply to a number of employees including: (1) salaried employees who work in a bona fide executive capacity and whose regular salary, when converted to an annual rate, exceeds 3000 times the state's minimum hourly wage ($15,450); (2) employees who perform essential services for the public; (3) medical interns; and (4) certain agricultural workers, salespersons, fishermen, domestic workers, summer camp counselors, and seasonal workers.

Many states have laws and regulations that limit the number of hours certain categories of workers and professions can work. Connecticut places restrictions on working hours for three groups of adults: people 66 years and older, handicapped people, and disabled veterans employed in manufacturing, mechanical, mercantile, and certain other establishments (CGS 31-12, 31-13, and 31-18). California prohibits certain individuals from working more than an average of 9 hours per day, or more than 108 hours or 12 days in any 2 consecutive weeks in a pharmacy. New York limits the number of hours postgraduate trainees and attending physicians can work at certain emergency rooms to 12 consecutive hours per on-duty assignment. In Missouri, certain workers in mining, mechanical, chemical manufacturing, and smelting businesses cannot be required to work more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period.

LM:ts