Employee doesn't want to work overtime

We have unarmed security guards at our location. We are open 7 days/week, 24 hours/day so there is always a guard on duty. It is not specified in the job description, but was explained to them at the time they interviewed that they would need to work overtime occasionally to cover each other when another guard is unable to work (vacation, sick, etc.).

I'm told that two of the guards refuse to work overtime. I'm wondering if these two people could be reprimanded for this? Is this okay to do even though working occasional overtime is not (but should be) specified as a job requirement in the position description. (There is a disclaimer in the j.d. that it is not an all encompassing list.) They are aware that they need to cover each other's absences.

Thanks for your help. I'm having a slow brain day today! (:|


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Unless they can provide some medical related reason for not working the OT, I would go ahead and discipline them in accordance with your policy. Occasional working of OT is something 99.9% of jobs require and the fact that an employees doesn't want to do it shouldn't be an excuse to allow them to "opt out" of this job requirement.
  • BUT if you policy (job description) does not specifically state that OT will be required, then you may have a problem forcing the employees to work.

  • We are updating our job description to reflect that. It is a definite requirement as we don't keep a pool of security guards to cover absences.

    I have advised our Security Supervisor to talk with the folks and explain the requirements to them so that they understand that future refusals may lead to further discliplinary action.

    Thanks for your responses.
  • I agree with Denise.

    Your policy should specifically say that overtime is required, and if they refuse to work it, they should be reprimanded.

    However, as a matter of employee relations, I would give as much notice as possible when it will be required, so if they can make personal arrangements if necessary. I understand that you cannot plan if an employee is sick, but just explain to the staff that if one person refuses to work overtime when another is sick, how would you feel if you had to come in because that same person refused to work for you? The "peer pressure" of the obligation may fix it for you.
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