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Want to fire your employee for refusing overtime? Be cautious

You have an employee whom you consider a “temporary” worker. They have been with you for a few years, but they always seem to look like they want to move on to a different company. You’ve been patient, but every time you ask them to work overtime or to stay late, they refuse. You feel like they’re not a team player, but you don’t know if you can fire them for refusing to work more than a 40-hour week.

As an employer, it is important that you remember that your employee has a life outside of work. They may have children to care for or hobbies that they schedule outside work hours. It’s not always easy for people to work overtime, but with enough notice, most people will agree. Still, is it a fireable offense if an employee refuses to stay late?

At-will employment allows you to fire anyone at any time

Yes, the law would allow you to fire any employee at any time for almost any reason, so long as it isn’t discriminatory or a violation of a contract. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, certain people in the health care industry are prohibited from working over 40 hours a week unless they volunteer or there is an exception due to an emergency.

Another issue could be if you made an agreement with the employee at any time about overtime not being required. If it’s in your contract or even was verbally agreed upon, terminating them for refusing overtime could lead to a lawsuit. In this case, you may want to look into the law well before you choose to terminate your employee.