The 40 hour work week was designed so that workers can have balance in their work and home lives. Overtime pay can be a blessing to some, but forced overtime can be a curse to a balanced family life. It really depends on whether the worker is willing and able to allot the extra time to the job. A recent news story shares about a California sheriff’s office that is trying to balance staffing issues and overtime needs. 

The sheriff is ordering mandatory overtime for her 840 employees due to low staffing levels. Every employee is expected to work an additional shift and give up one day off to meet the needs of the agency. She is calling the measure “fair share overtime, and it will be mandatory for all employees for three months. 

Some employees are unhappy with the forced OT. They claim it does not allow them enough time to attend to self-care and family needs. The sheriff’s association has filed several complaints regarding the mandatory overtime, and the union has announced that it will be fighting the policy. Other employees are taking full advantage of the overtime offers and have boosted their annual salary into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Employees in the state of California have the right to fair overtime rules. They also bear the responsibility not to exploit the system and take unearned overtime pay. If an employee is facing an overtime issue at his or her job, an attorney can help explore available options to address wage disputes as well as issues about overtime and fair pay. 

Source: ktvu.com, “Sheriff’s deputies making hundreds of thousands of dollars in OT“, May 30, 2017