Is forced overtime legal?

So, I live in New Mexico and for some reason or another, I had it in my head that an employer cannot force a non-exempt employee to work mandatory overtime.

I tried googling, but I get nothing but advertisements.

Can anyone fight my ignorance, please?

Nevermind. I found the answers I need. Thanks.

So? Is it illegal in NM?

Even if it’s illegal, I’d imagine that in most states, the employer could just fire you for “another reason.”

Don’t want to work paid overtime? Find another job. (Not that I like overtime, paid or not, though the money is good, and I’ve accepted that it’s part of life as an IT guy. I’m a contractor, so I do get paid for overtime)
I’m sure there are exceptions for things like medical workers and the like… I know in MA my sister is often forced to work an additional shift, if others call in sick/late.

General rule: No, except very long hours or workers in certain industries.


  1. Male employees at eating establishments:

  1. 16 hour max unless you are “a fireman, law enforcement officer or farm or ranch hand whose duties require them to work longer hours, or employees primarily in a stand-by position.”

  2. In a food service emergency :eek: apparently men who work at food establishments can be required to work more than 10 hours as long as they don’t have to work more than 74 hours in one week. If they work more than 70 hours, they get time-and-a-half.

Sorry for abandoning my post without clarification.

I spoke with a paralegal friend of mine who has experience in this matter and she informed me that it’s is only illegal if they do not compensate extra for the overtime.

Now I’m going to peruse those links that GFactor was kind enough to find for me.

Thanks for the responses folks.