Mandatory overtime work in the United States: Who, where, and what?

Lonnie Golden, Barbara Wiens-Tuers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Who works mandatory overtime? Descriptive analysis of a module in the 2002 General Social Survey finds that 28 percent of full-timers face and 21 percent actually worked extra hours because it was required by their employer-a slight increase since overtime work was last measured twenty-five years ago. Mandatory overtime is more frequent among men, the foreign born, those employed in non-profits, blue-collar occupations, and industries such as public administration and manufacturing. Relative to workers who have no overtime, workers who face mandatory overtime are found more frequently among workers who have inflexible work schedules, seniority, difficulty finding alternative jobs, bonus compensation, and poor relationships with management. Relative to those with non-mandatory overtime, those who work man datory overtime show less job satisfaction, job security, and say about their jobs. Thus, understanding the effects of mandatory overtime has implications for organizations that aim for high-performance workplace structures and smooth labor relations and for labor organizers who seek to attract members by addressing the negative consequences of mandatory overtime, such as heightened work-family interference. While some collective bargaining provisions seek to curb mandatory overtime, their limited effect may be why at least seven U.S. states have passed some form of legal ban and/or right to refuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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