Emerson..... the HAVEN for forced OT... you can be forced Every night no policy about it. For a while we went with only 1 person on desk and 1 on the road. When someone called out BANG, someone is forced.
Recently it got better, now we only do 2 sometimes 3 days a week (Per Shift) with only a Dispatcher and Road Officer.
We don't have a policy, they just write your name in red on the OT slip if no one signs up. That means you are "ordered" to be there. Usually the person who worked the least amount of OT gets ordered, sometimes they play favorites.
They even force us on details (roadwork, dances, special events). And we have no detail rate so it is at time and a half. But if you took a vacation day Monday and signed up for a detail Wednesday, it doesn't count towards your 40 hour week, so you may work a detail or OT shift at a straight pay rate.
Plus we have monthly mandatory training days. If we are only there an hour, we only get paid an hour. If we are there fifteen minutes, same thing. Some loophole in the Ma Labor Laws, I checked. I was also told they can force you to work OT (with or without a contract), but can't make you work BOTH your days off, (i.e. seven days in a row).
The college I used to work at had a policy of: if no one wants the shift and you are eligible for the shift and you had the least hours of OT then you could be ordered. They could order you if were at work. If you were at home and you answered the phone then you were ordered. You just have to learn not to pick up the phone, or get caller ID. They tried to order us for details and school events, but it went against contract for them to do it. They claimed it was an "emergency situation".... a school dance an emergency, I think not.
They also had the policy where the person on the shift with least amount of hours got held over for the next 8 hours if someone called in sick. I worked nights and a couple guys on day shift had an alcohol problem, so they liked to bang out sick a couple times a week... :evil: :evil: :evil:
Where I currently work,(municipal) they can't order you in for a shift if you are on days off. Emergency situation, crisis, etc. they can, but not to fill an open OT shift. If they cant fill a shift then they hold a person from the previous shift for 4 hours and order someone in on the incoming shift to come and fill 4 hours. That way isnt too bad.
Labor Law is tricky. Forced OT is a pet project I've looked into though. Basically, an employer can force you to work OT. Although there are exceptions, one, as posted above, they cant make you work seven (7) days in a row. Secondly, and here's where the fine print comes in, if the employer has a vacancy, and they have not attempted to fill it, and the OT exist because of the vacancy...YOU CANNOT BE FORCED! Of course the onus is on you to prove that they were not trying to fill the vacancy. Then we also have laws for public (especially public safety), private and collective bargaining sectors; all of which may differ!
The VA Police, Boston division uses it's overtime and detail list first, then put's the opening out to the West Roxbury and Brockton divisions and then if no takers, an officer is force to make sure of manpower mandates.
Tufts has a forced OT list. The way it is supposed to work is the person with the least amount of hours is the one to be forced in. However, they cannot force if you already have 16 hours OT for the week or if you go over 16 hours in a day. You also have the right to one refusal per half year.
This is actually a huge topic at work right now. Currently this is how our policy works:
Central Control calls the overtime list as soon as open shifts become available, and fills them with as many off-shift officers as possible.
One hour, before the shift begins, the unfilled overtimes are announced over the radio. Officers who want the shifts call and get their name on the list. They fill the overtimes by seniority. Then, whatever is left, becomes holdovers/forced OT.
Our current union contract has a new forced OT clause, after their was huge clamoring over it last year. Although, there is this year too :roll: basicallly, it works this way:
There is a list of the six least senior people kept in Central Control. When a holdover is needed, the lowest person on the list who is working that day is heldover. Unless, he/she was heldover the previous day, then it goes to the next senior person, unless he/she was held over the previous day, and it rotates around the list until they hit someone who can be heldover. You can be held every other day, conveivabley as many times as necessary within a year. One new guy was held thirty six times last year.
The problems we have with this system are:
In theory, you could be held 183 times per year...obviously, that's just out right wrong and a poor employment practice.
What happens, if everybody from the rotating list was held the day before? There is no language dealing with this. And believe me, it's going to happen soon. One day there was 13 overtimes called over the radio at 2PM.
What happens when people from the rotating list are on vacation, off site at hospital runs which have different hours, injured, have major commitments such as a plane ticket leaving for vacation that evening? I nearly got heldover the night of my bachelor party last year.
So, this is going to be a huge topic come next contract time. The system is a bit better than what we had last year, which was just hold from the bottom until all the shifts are filled. This left guys working 80+ hours a week.
I would be interested to see what some of the statutory law and case law was on this. We are hopefully going to bat with a case law from Brockton PD regarding compensatory time and an issue we have from comp days given for working for free for a week this summer during the fiscal crisis. Evidentally, some guys are being denied these days off.
Other than, time off and overtime issues, I can't say too much bad my department, just as a disclaimer. I'm not here to bash my employer. I can honestly say I like where I work, other than being unable to get time off when I need it. We just have a huge problem with these issues right now, which is causing a major morale problem.
My place is great! You can ONLY get forced if your sign up to be on the "OT list" which covers OT shifts, details and forced. So, If you're not on the list you can't be forced - you can't work details/OT either (although sometimes exceptions are made). So if you want money you join the list. My dept is huge so lots of names on the list..I've been there over 3.5 years and NEVER been forced. Although guys with less than a year have been forced 3-5 times... it's like the lottery depends when your name comes up.
If you take a detail or OT shift your name shifts to the bottom and slowly moves back the the top as the names cycle through. We usually play it safe, if we see our name make it to the top third of the list we take a detail... better than being forced when you're exhausted and unprepared or have plans.
Oh yeah, and if you're not already at work you can't be forced! SWEET! still tons of OT and details. 6 weeks of vacation too... who's complaining? not me. $$$cha-ching$$$ unk:
I was recently forced for a low level college judicial hearing. I was given 5 days notice to appear on a day off where I had made plans that were not able to be changed. I was basically told by my department that my plans did not matter and that 5 days was more than enough notice to have to appear on a day off. As soon as I was made aware of this date I informed my Lt. that I would not be able to go due to my previous obligations. This did not go over well. I was wondering if anyone out there could give me any suggestions on how to handle a situation like this should it happen again. Thanks!
Our department's policy does not specify about being forced in on days off. We have always had mandatory days such as graduation and move in day but we know of these days well in advance. I am unaware of any policy that mandates attendance at college judicial hearings. To answer every one else, no we are not union, our policy is vague about this subject and I am not referring to Brandies.