Overtime Saturday. Sorry, I can't make it.

Most commonly, considering the premium pay for overtime work scheduled for weekends and holidays, it is aggressively sought, even battled over. But in some cases, employees may regard it as an inconvenience and turn it down. If they can.


Most commonly, considering the premium pay for overtime work scheduled for weekends and holidays, it is aggressively sought, even battled over. But in some cases, employees may regard it as an inconvenience and turn it down. If they can.

In view of its high cost, management tries to make do without weekend and holiday work. And ordinarily, when such work is scheduled, ample advance notice must be given. But what happens when a worker asked to work on a weekend replies, "Sorry, boss, I can't make it." It depends.

Maintenance Foreman Ben Clooney anticipated no problem when he approached Senior Electrician Ted Kaufman Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

"Congratulations, Ted. You're about to become a rich man."

Kaufman grinned. "I'm gonna get a raise. Or better still, a promotion."

"Not exactly. But an emergency situation just came up. I'm scheduling you for work Saturday and Sunday. The lab rewiring job has to be completed by Monday."

"Thanks, but no thanks. I can't make it. We're going away for the weekend. Assign the job to someone else."

"There is no one else. The only other guy qualified for that work is Tom Benuto, and he's away on vacation. I'm afraid you're elected."

Kaufman shook his head. "No can do. Our plans have already been made. Besides, according to the contract an employee is required to be notified 24 hr in advance of weekend and holiday work."

"That doesn't apply in this case," Clooney replied. "I hate to mess up your plans, but this is an emergency. I'll have to order you to come in to work."

"And I'll have to refuse; my wife would kill me."

Question: Can Clooney require Kaufman to work the weekend?

Rankin's verdict: "It's a tough break for Kaufman," Plant Engineer Bert Rankin told Clooney, "but you had no choice but to order him in. Ordinarily, a worker might get away refusing the assignment on short notice were it not for this clause." Rankin pulled the labor agreement from a drawer and read aloud: "Advance notice shall not be required when an emergency situation exists and it is not possible for such notice to be given." Kaufman will have to comply with this provision or suffer the consequences."

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
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Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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