Q: It is my understanding that in Connecticut, someone can't work more than 13 days in a row. I have an employee who has already worked 15 consecutive days. What would happen if he worked more days without a day off?

A: In Connecticut, 12—not 13—days is the maximum permissible continuous mandatory period of work, but you're not necessarily breaking the law if you allow an employee to work more than 12 days in a row.

It's only illegal to compel or require someone to work that long over their objection, and/or to discipline an employee who refuses.

The statute actually says six days in a calendar week is the maximum permissible time worked.

The 12-day limit arises if an employee is required to work the last six days of one week and the first six days of the following week.

That's 12 consecutive days, but still no more than six days in a calendar week.

Note that it is entirely permissible for a worker to voluntarily work a longer period without a day off, as long as the opportunity for a day off is available, and the worker has declined that opportunity.

So asking for volunteers is OK. Where a worker has voluntarily worked or seeks to work for a continuous stretch of more than six days in a calendar week, it would be wise to give the employee a short note advising her or him that you are approving the request/preference to work continuously without a day off, but that a day off is available if desired.

This assumes management is OK with the overtime hours incurred and any possible decline in productivity and safety as fatigue or burnout sets in.

HR problems? Email or call Mark Soycher at the HR Hotline (860.244.1900 | @HRHotline)

Filed Under: HR Hotline, Wage & Hour
  • Robert samora

    If you clock in to work and get rained out can that be considered a fatigue day?
    My understanding of a fatigue day is a day completely away from work.
    Is there a law for how many consecutive days that you can work in a row before you are allowed a day off.

    • CBIANews

      Not sure what is meant by a “fatigue” day, as it is not a term used in law or regulation. If the workplace activity is weather dependent, and due to rain or other inclement weather, normal work activity cannot proceed, an hourly or salaried nonexempt employee (one who is eligible for overtime) need only be paid for actual time worked, including any time the employee clocked in and was directed to remain at work waiting to see if work would be available that day.
      Once dismissed for the day, paid time may cease. If an employee was advised work was uncertain, but asked to report on the chance work might be provided, but was told not to clock in but instead just hang around for a bit, then told to leave once it became clear no work could be performed, the employee would be entitled to wages for the waiting time, even if not clocked in. If the employee was advised not to report to work at all, no wages are owed.
      There are only limited situations where minimum daily earnings are required: State law provides a four-hour minimum daily guarantee for employees working in mercantile trades (retail, wholesale and related activities such as clerical and stock work) where the employee reports to work and is not provided a full day’s work, unless a shorter work schedule is mutually agreed upon. And there is a two-hour minimum daily guarantee for employees in the hospitality trades (hotel, restaurant).
      Exempt employees, not entitled to overtime, are entitled to a full day’s wages even if no work is performed, as long as they have worked some time in the week. The wages for time not worked may be charged against any accrued paid time off benefits.
      You’ll fund the answer to your question on consecutive days here: https://www.cbia.com/news/hr-safety/hr-hotline-many-consecutive-days-can-employees-required-work/

  • Matthew McKenzie

    At a factory in New York State (not the City of NY) We are given at least 1 day off each work week. We can volenteer that 7th day of work if we wish, but they say we can’t work 21 days in a row. That there is a state law prohibiting employees from volenteering to work for 21 consequetive days. i don’t find any such law. Can you help? Thanks!

  • Reyes TANGUMA

    I’m a Texas worker working in Connecticut my employer is requiring us to show up 7 days a week can he do that????

  • Beth Proctor

    I am a Oklahoma Worker and They wanted me too work possibly 3 weeks too or 2 months without a day off.What in the Heck is wrong with this picture?No Human Being should have too suffer without time off!!!???At Eaton in Shawnee Oklahoma

  • Sherri Boyce

    I’m in Arkansas and I was just told that I’m going to have to work 6 to 7 days a week with one day off in between Weeks
    Meaning 7 days on one day off 6 days on one off
    And maybe no days off in between
    Is that even legal

  • Tara

    My fiancé works for a person in South Dakota . He puts in anywhere from 13 to 16 hours a day, and has to work a minimum of 6 days a week. His boss doesn’t like him to have Sunday’s off, so he typically has to work for five hours that day. He also only gets $1,250 bi weekly. Assuming he only works 28 days, that’s $89 a day. And with just 14 hours a day, it’s $6 an hour. He doesn’t get breaks as he works on a farm, and most of the time I’d have to bring him food to eat while he’s working if he wants to eat at all. Is that illegal?

  • Kelly MacDonald

    I’ve been working nonstop for 22+ days straight and I still don’t know when or if I’ll have a day off.

  • Corey Stewart

    My job has worked us going on 24 days in a row how do I go bout this

  • Hannah Key

    my boss told us we were working all week no days off, i thought required by law every emloyee must have 1 day off at least… ???

  • Hannah Key

    my boss just told me (head house keeper) me and everyone else will work everyday this week with no days off. Now i thought required by law every employee must have at least 1 day off… ? am i wrong ????????

    • CBIANews

      What state do you live in? The state Department of Labor is your best resource for addressing this question.

  • Emily

    Can my job make me work 12 days straight in michigan?

  • Crystal G Welte

    I work in ky im not union. My job is working us 19 days straight starting first December. Are they aloud to do that? I brought up this 12 day rule an they said that is onlu for union workers.

  • Jeff Wilkins

    Lol my job has me working 25 days without a day off. My last day off was Christmas day. Before that was black Friday. I’m the only manager and I am forced to work doubles until I get staff and training in

  • Terri Oliver-Lightfoot

    Can employer work you 24 seven without a day off in Nevada

    • CBIANews

      We’re a Connecticut based employers’ organization. Your best resource for addressing this question is the Nevada Labor Commissioner’s Office: http://labor.nv.gov/

  • Defy Osorno

    Our employer requires us to take home cleaning rags they provide us with which are used in bathrooms to wipe off toilets etc and wash them ourselves at home or laundromat with our own soap and offer no reimbursement

  • Tanya Shumake

    Plastpro in saybrook ohio work is 7 days week, 8 hours a day for last 3 years..

  • Willis Fraley

    My daughter works in a hospital and has worked 72 days straight. Is this illegal

    • CBIANews

      It all depends on the state where she works. Suggest you check the labor department website for your state.

  • Liz Rodriguez

    I’m in Texas. We’re being obligated to work almost one month straight with no days off. Mandatory 12 hours a day! That has to b against the law, right?

  • CS

    CT employer here. Our work week runs Monday through Sunday. Part-time employee worked seven (7) consecutive days, but just a few hours each day for a total of twenty-five hours during the week. Are we required to pay any additional comp due to working every day during the pay period?

    • CBIANews

      This raises two issues, the maximum continuous days permissible to require someone to work, and when is premium pay required as a result of certain work schedules.

      As to the first, the state law says:

      No employer shall compel any employee engaged in any commercial occupation or in the work of any industrial process to work more than six days in any calendar week. An employee’s refusal to work more than six days in any calendar week shall not constitute grounds for their dismissal.

      Under this law it is OK to work seven days in a row, as long as it is voluntary, and there is no penalty to the worker who declines to do so. The law makes no mention of the number of hours, so it would seem that requiring work every day of the week, even if less than full-time hours, might be a violation. Keep in mind that if not mandatory, working that schedule is not a problem.

      As to the second issue, premium rate (overtime) pay is only required by both state and federal law when the total weekly hours exceed 40. There is no premium pay requirement triggered by working any particular number of days in a row, or based on time of day, holiday, weekend, or daily hours worked.

  • nikki

    I live in Tennessee, my employer is working us 7 days a week at 10 hr shift. How many days can they make us work before we get a day off?

  • Kristine

    I am in Washinton state and my employer told me it is illegal to work 7 days in a row. It is 40 hours each week but the way my days off were given it is 7 days in a row with two weeks together. Is my boss correct in saying it is illegal because I can’t find anything to back her up.

  • C M

    I am a post office employee in the state of Connecticut we are routinely worked weeks at a time with out a day off or seven days a calendar week, something the law prohibits unless it is done voluntary. Do these laws apply to me as a federal employee?

    • CBIANews

      The state law prohibiting work on more than six days in a calendar week does not include any exceptions such as federal workers or members of a union working under the terms of collective bargaining agreement that contains other provisions negating this restriction. We suggest contacting the state Department of Labor (860.263.6790) for a definitive response.

  • Melissa

    My boyfriend manages three different stores in the district and is being forced to work the store from open to close (12 hour shifts) every day until he can get it staffed but no one wants to work there because it is secluded and they only offer minimum wage. On top of that he is supposed to manage the other two stores from this store and was told to not hire black people because they don’t tan and can’t tell the customer about the tanning products. He gets no lunch breaks, no sick days and no vacation. The stress from the job is causing him physical pain, panic attacks, nausea, headaches and fear of going to work. He was told that the female employees have to be treated differently because they are full of emotion. When someone in another district needs help he is forced to help them or he gets yelled at but when he needs help he is told he needs to handle it himself. Was threatened to be fired because he told another district manager “this job isn’t worth $18 an hour” saying he’s not allowed to discuss how much he makes with another employee. Anytime he asks for help from owner or HR he is ridiculed or threatened with his job.He is also the only employee in the company who doesn’t get holiday pay.Is any of this even legal? Doesn’t this constitute as discrimination or hostile work environment?

    • CBIANews

      What state do you live in? We’re a Connecticut employer organization. Recommend you contact the labor department in your state for more information about relevant rules and regulations.

  • Dhoaney Corton Codamos

    My boyfriends retail store closed suddenly in Manhattan. But they opened a new store in Southampton. He was asked to 1.leave the company with one month of pay while looking for another work. 2. Work for someone his boss knows because he is impressed with his skills and experience in the job. 3. Lower down the salary and commission and move to a very far away place from our address and become an assistant manager for three months and then become a store manager after that.

    Eventually because we just had our first baby. I am not working. He took number three. What I am so worried about him is that, he had a contract that says on the peak season he will work for 7 days a week!!! Peak season includes- JUNE to OCTOBER. Which he just did last July until this day of writing.

    My question is. Since he signed the contract. Is this illegal? Do we need to talk to a lawyer about this? Will it have a chance of winning?

    I feel like my boyfriend is being taken advantage of because of his situation.

  • Tammy Cole

    It may be legal, but it is immoral- my husbands employer has been making their 8hr/day employees work six 12 hour days every week for the last 5 months now. Good employees are quitting because they are so tired & burned out. My husband does not want to quit his job or loose our insurance, but he is so burned out & tired. He can’t even enjoy his life or all or have any family time- just work,sleep & go back. This is sooooo wrong!!!!

  • Melissa C

    Under the CT mandatory order no 8 , isn’t it also necessary to pay time and a half on the 7th day for restaurant employees? Does this include coffee shops like Starbucks??

    • CBIANews

      CT Mandatory Order No. 8 contains the Connecticut Labor Department’s regulations concerning minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements for workers in certain designated job categories in the restaurant and hotel industry. This poster should be displayed in all covered businesses, including coffee shops like Starbucks.
      Premium pay is required for hours worked on a seventh consecutive day, as well as for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. However, there is a slight difference in the required premium pay rate. For hours worked on a seventh consecutive day, the regulation specifies payment of at least one and one-half times the “minimum rate,” currently $10.10 in Connecticut. So work hours on a seventh consecutive day must be at least $15.15 per hour ($10.10 x 1.5 = $15.15).
      But for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week, the pay rate must be at least one and one-half times the “regular rate”, whatever that may be.
      For example, if the regular pay rate is $12.00, the applicable overtime rate for hours in excess of 40 in a week would be $18.00 ($12.00 x 1.5 = $18.00).

      • Carla

        Is this pay rate only if you work in a restaurant?

  • Janice

    My job has on call from Friday 11 pm until Sunday 11pm. Most are scheduled to work the Friday before on call because on call is on your weekend off. We work every other weekend. I always leave late because it’s so busy. I work 3-11 shift, I left work after midnight the Friday before. I always go to sleep between 2-3am. I get a call at the next morning to come in. I was half sleep, then I received a text and another call. I went to work, I realized I picked up a shift before I knew I was on call, the same day 3-11p. I was exhausted I left that night after 1 am. My phone rings at 6 am the next morning, I could not go to work I just went to bed after 3am. I was so tired/ sleepy. I thought I may be written up for this. If I do go in I may have to stay to do a double if night shift is short. I will be so exhausted. This causes for error in healthcare. On top of all this, the on call pay over the years have not seen it. I asked where can I find the pay on pay stub I get sent to a different person. Where can I find laws of on call work for nurses in CT/ skilled nursing facility. Thank you

  • Mariluz Rolon

    my employer has me working 14 days straight with the on call rotations with no days off not an option. and if we do call out we have to use our own PTO. is that legal?