Employers often force employees to work at an unsafe pace and judging them based on impossible production goals. In doing so, these employers disregard the harm caused to their employees by speeding up production.
At the same, Employers are reluctant to pay employees overtime pay that is necessary to meet these impossible expectations. But workers are not defenseless—you have rights.
Overtime without pay is illegal
You may already know that your employer needs to pay you for the time you work. If you are having difficulty meeting the performance or production standards, staying a few extra minutes to check off another task can give you the numbers you need to remain employed. However, your employer must pay you for the work you do, and not doing so is illegal. It is also illegal to force you to work more than 40 hours in a week without paying you overtime at time-and-a-half. Your employer also cannot encourage you to work off the clock and you have a right to refuse.
Safety is a corner you should not have to cut
Your safety and the safety of your co-workers should be the most important concern. However, many times employers will encourage workers to skip safety protocols to speed up production. If your workplace is unsafe or your employer does not give you time to use appropriate safety gear, you should reach out to the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA).
Talk to your union rep
Employers can be insensitive when it comes to understanding the impact that overzealous standards have on employees. For the employees, struggling to meet these impossible goals can place undue pressure and burden on employees and impact their physical and mental health.
You and your co-workers have the right to stand up together to protest such practices. You can form a labor union. If you are already unionized, you should contact your union representative. Unions can help you make the case to your employer about the work conditions and create a more realistic expectation.
Your union representative may also be able to help you learn more about an accommodation you may need to help you accomplish your tasks at work. Your employer may need to make a reasonable accommodation if you need extra support for a specific condition.
No matter what, please contact the labor and employment lawyers at Miller Cohen PLC for a free consultation by calling 313-566-4787. They can provide additional guidance to help you navigate these issues.