EMPLOYMENT LAW F.A.Q.

By: Attorney, Ashley D. Marks

Question: Can my employer force me to work overtime?

Generally, the answer to this question is yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement (which a union worker might have), or a written contract, Indiana law allows employers to set hours at their discretion. However, some industries, such as transportation, have safety rules that require a limitation on the amount of hours an individual can work in a 24 hour period. Furthermore, Indiana law does not define how much notice must be given to an employee when hours are changed.

Please note that it would be illegal for an employer to force one employee, or a group of like employees, to work extreme hours simply because of their nature as a protected class. For example, forcing all the African American workers to work late, while the other workers are allowed to go home.

Question: When is an employee’s final paycheck due?
In general, an employee’s final paycheck must be paid on or before the next regularly scheduled payday that the employee would have been normally paid had they remained employed.

If you believe you were not properly paid upon leaving an employer, we urge you to call for a free consultation, or file a complaint with the Indiana Department of Labor- Wage and Hour Division. Please note the law does put a statute of limitations on such claims, so act quickly.

Question: Can my employer change my rate of pay?
Generally, the answer to this question is yes. Absent a collective bargaining agreement (which a union worker might have), or a written contract, Indiana law allows employers to change an employee’s rate of pay. However, the employer should notify the employee prior to the worker completing any work at the reduced rate. The worker has the right to accept the lower wages, or quit. If the individual already performed work before being notified of the reduction, but was then paid at the reduced rate, he/she could have a claim for wages for the difference between the two rates.

Please note that it would be illegal for an employer to reduce one’s rate simply because of their nature as a protected class member. For example, reducing one’s rate of pay after notifying the Employer she was pregnant.