Worker must get his due (whether he wants it or not)

The maintenance department was overloaded with work. Maintenance Foreman Mike Freylich approached Carpenter Grade I Floyd Tucker with a worried look on his face. "How's that shelving project coming along?
By Raymond Dreyfack September 1, 1999

The maintenance department was overloaded with work. Maintenance Foreman Mike Freylich approached Carpenter Grade I Floyd Tucker with a worried look on his face.

“How’s that shelving project coming along?”

Tucker shook his head. “Longer than I expected. I ran into a problem with those reinforcement brackets.”

Freylich frowned. “Just what I need. We were supposed to start loading them in the morning.”

Tucker said, “I’ll work overtime if you want.”

“It’s not that simple. Overtime has been getting out of hand.”

Tucker replied sympathetically, “Look, it’s not that big a deal. This shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 hr to finish. You can put me in for straight time.”

“Hey, that’s real nice of you, Floyd. I appreciate it.”

The following week, auditing the time cards, the paymaster called Tucker’s card to Freylich’s attention.

“This guy worked 11 hr on Wednesday. How come he was put in for straight time instead of time-and-a-half?”

“No problem. It was his own idea.”

“His own idea or not,” the paymaster replied, “if a man works overtime, he has to be paid at the overtime rate.”

Question: Can an employee voluntarily relinquish his overtime rights?

Walker’s verdict: Plant Manager Oliver Walker agreed with the paymaster. “An employee’s right to overtime pay, voluntary or not, can’t be legally waived. Pay Freylich the difference due him whether he wants it or not.”