In most states, including Texas, many employers are allowed to demand that their employees work overtime hours. Not only does federal law allow for mandatory overtime for employees 16 or older, but Texas law contains no prohibitions on mandatory overtime except with respect to nurses.
Unfortunately, mandatory overtime can complicate the lives of many employees, especially if they are asked to stay late with no advance notice. On top of that, Texas does not have a law that employers must pay daily overtime. Under both federal and Texas wage laws, overtime pay is only owed if an employee works more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek. If an employee does work more than 40 hours in a workweek, overtime must be paid at time and a half.
Though employers in Texas have a lot of latitude to make employees work overtime, they must still adhere to federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation in the workplace as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thus, if employees feel like their employer is forcing them to work overtime as a way to discriminate or retaliate against them based on a protected attribute or action such as race, gender or making a complaint about discrimination based on race or gender, that employee might consider consulting with an attorney to determine whether the forced overtime is lawful.
Additionally, if an employee has a disability that limits his or her ability to work overtime, that employee may have a valid basis to refuse the request. Employees who feel that their employer is illegally requiring them to work overtime may want to consult with a Texas-licensed attorney.