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Is it legal for my employer to keep me past my scheduled shift?
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Is it legal for my employer to keep me past my scheduled shift?

I'm supposed to get a certain amount done and have a walk off before I go home, which most of the time I do, however, on days when it's busy and I'm by myself things don't always get done on time. (during Christmas it never got done...I work in a toys department.) I'm only one person.

I keep getting told that it is illegal for them to keep me, however, they have no problems trying to force me to stay after my scheduled hours. I'm scheduled till 11pm most of the time and if I don't leave I miss my bus. (or ride if someone who lives near me is leaving a
round 11pm.) If I don't get a ride or catch my bus I have to walk 2+ miles in an unsafe part of town, in the cold to catch my second bus that goes by my house. Being murdered or molested doesn't sound like a good way to end a day at a terrible job.

I can't find a law that says anything about it. I am aware that I must be paid for the time I work. That is not what I am asking. I'm asking if it's legal for them to make me stay clocked in past my scheduled time especially when that would put me into a potentially unsafe situation.

As far as I know it is legal... to a point. They cannot make you by force or anything but they can fire you or replace you for leaving. It depends on whether you are in a "right to work" state or have any union representation. If they insist you stay, then you can leave if you wish. You just may lose your job. You are correct that they must pay you every cent for that time. If they wanted unpaid time then that is illegal.

There are a few exceptions.... if you have a union contract, Family illness or emergency, military excused etc. These reasons allow you to leave and it is illegal for them to fire you over it. The family emergency I believe is fairly strick (ie, someone dying or emergency room)

If you are in a "right to work" state then they can fire you for pretty much anything... you could probably get unemployement but they have a lot more power to hire and fire.

Yes they can keep you after your scheduled shift as long as they pay you for your time

They can request that you stay, if you decide not to they can request that you do not work there anymore

Uncle Pennybags
I do not believe it is illegal to be required to stay longer.

I worked in the restaurant biz for many years. Never had anyone tell me it was illegal for me to require them to stay longer.

if they are paying for you then they can ask you to stay and work, but that does not mean you have to, nor does it mean they have to keep you employed there.. they can fire you and say it was because you did not want to work the scheduled hours.. but you could also fight unemployment, using the unsafe having to walk home because you had to miss your buss because they made you stay..

I agree with prior posts; it's not illegal for your employer to keep you late. However, I suggest speaking to your manager about your situation. It is possible they will accommodate you considering the situation, but they are under no obligation. If it really is a "terrible job", I suggest looking for another one.

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