I believe that there should be some form of a legal limit on the hours an employee should work in a week. I believe that the current laws are sufficient in providing limits and laws that address these issues. I do not believe all companies follow these rules and employees should seek out justification if they do not.
Before the standard 40 hour work week was established, workers faced long hours in high-risk jobs for little pay. Exhausted workers were more likely to make mistakes, lowering workplace efficiency and increasing the chances of injury. Without a standard working week, companies can compel their workers to work longer hours and threaten workers that do not comply. Working longer hours can also disrupt family and social life, and become a drain on a society.
Yes, there should be a legal limit on weekly working hours. It should not be legal for a factory to be able to require a person to work seven days a week by stating that overtime is “mandatory”. People NEED a day away from work to rest and recharge. Working too many hours not only wears a person out, it affects their family life and overall job performance. But as long as employers have the right to tell people their overtime is mandatory, employees have no choice but to comply or be disciplined and possibly terminated.
There are many international examples of highly profitable companies that also have a limit to the number of hours employees are permitted to work. The psychology behind this is that a better work life balance has a positive impact on the well being and company engagement of employees. That positive impact leads to increased productivity and more efficient work hours. Hence those employees can get the same work done in a 40 hours (or less) work week than we do in the USA in a longer work week.
Too many companies are passing the burden to work additional hours onto employees. It's a shame the 40 hour work week has all but disappeared. Its especially worse since the recession. Many of us work 12 hour days and its not fair to our family, health or quality of life. No wonder health care costs are rising too much stress, we need to pass a law mandating no work days over 12 hour days!
There have been numerous case studies on the effects of overtime on workers and they all point to decreased efficiency and moral, and increased risk of health problems and safety incidents. Yet in an effort to cut costs associated with headcount the trend of under staffing is rising across the nation. Placing increased burden both directly and indirectly on those still working, whether is putting in more hrs to complete a project, or picking up extra duties on top of the already expected ones. The trend of under staffing is a safety risk to those who are employed and a detriment to those who could be employed. I would a propose weekly limit of 112 hrs a week be placed that being an average of 16 hrs per day in a given 7 days. This would allow for emergency hrs in a given day so long as the weekly limit is not breached. So if i work 20 hrs on monday my employer would be required to give me sufficient time to rest during that week.
People have the right to work longer and work more if they can sustain it. Obviously they are trying to get ahead, and we should not prevent them from doing that. The government has no right to tell an individual when they can and can't work. It is for the benefit of all hard working individuals that we prevent this from happening.
If people want to work longer and earn more money, they should be able to. However, employers should not be able to abuse them and demand that they work extra. So, I think there should be a legal limit in the sense that there is a limit that employers can require that workers put in, but no limit for those workers that want to go above and beyond and get paid extra.
We live in a free market where we can consume as much as we want. Labor is what we contribute to society. Markets are competitive and try to give the best good or service for the best price. Labor is no exception. It's a market so to get a job and work, you have to give the best labor for the best price. If the free market is messed with it creates surpluses and shortages.