Overtime abuse

Re: Workplace burnout grows (Castanet, Nov. 30)

A lot of people don't realize that under B.C.’s Employment Standards Act employees can be required to work overtime. This means it’s not voluntary.

I worked at a privately operated long-term care facility where the employer forced employees to work overtime to staff the facility if other employees phoned in sick.

The employer did not compensate employees adequately or provide a satisfactory work environment causing employees to want to work there and voluntarily work overtime. Instead, the onus was on employees, not the employer, to adequately staff the facility.

If an employee refused to work overtime, the employer could terminate the employee, thus setting a precedent should the occasion arise again.

So when you read about employees becoming burned out, this situation could be at play and believe me, it's hard to quit a job after 10 years.

But sometimes emotionally and physically, you're left with no other option.

Rob Hopkins, Osoyoos

(Editors note: Under the act, employees can be required to work overtime but employees who work more than eight hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week must be paid time-and-a-half or double-time for overtime hours worked, depending on how much overtime is worked.)

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