How To Get out of Working Overtime

Some companies require employees to work overtime. Overtime pay is good but what if you have some other work to do? The hours that you may spend with your family, friends and loved ones will instead, go to your workplace. If you don’t work for overtime, the company has the right to fire you depending on the agreement that you signed. You can skip working overtime without feeling guilty with these following tips.

  • Write all of the things you’ve done for the week. Make a list of your accomplishments for the week, and show it to your boss. Say that you definitely need to rest because you’ve accomplished much. If your boss is understanding, he should agree with your explanation. Otherwise, he will need a bit more convincing.
  • Consult your employment contract if you are required to work overtime. Your signed documents before being hired will stipulate your rights and responsibilities. If the paper states that you are required to work overtime, you cannot do anything about it. If the paper doesn’t have any such conditions, Tell your boss that you are not required and you can go home after the required time. Make sure to express this firmly, but politely.
  • Check the employee’s rights if there are any rules on working overtime. Americans have a constitutional right to Freedom of Religion. According to employee rights, an employer cannot stop their employee if he got a religious appointments and obligations on the church. You can use this right to avoid overtime, such as if your boss wants you to work on a Sunday, Sabbath or other holy day of obligation. Find a church if you are not attending any. After you settle it, tell your employer that you are now attending a church and have obligations to follow its requirements. If the employer asks for confirmation, hand him the printed schedules of their duties. If the church that you applied has a website, just download and print the schedule from their site. 
  • Reject the offer on working overtime politely. Say no and give explanations why you can’t work overtime. Problems in the house, appointments, any emergency situations, or other pressing needs can be your excuse. If you can’t come up with an explanation, just tell your boss that you will be able to work better the next morning if you can get the proper rest.
  • If your boss insists, be firm. Don’t feel guilty about saying “no” to overtime work. It’s your right, after all. If you are giving an excuse, though, make sure that your boss will not see through your explanations.
  • If the boss finally stops asking you to work overtime, express gratitude. Give some appreciation to your boss. Talk to him how you can help the business or the department without having to work overtime. For one, they will be saving up on overtime fees (which are often more expensive than regular hourly rates). Secondly, you can show that you will be more productive during your regular working hours with proper rest.


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