How many days in a row can you work without a day off? (2023)

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How many days in a row can you work without a day off? (1)

There is no federal law that limits the number of days you can work in a row. However, some states require a day off every week. If you are a non-exempt worker, you may be entitled to overtime pay or double-time pay if you work more than a certain number of hours in a week.

Does federal law restrict how many days in a row I can work?

No, there is no federal law that limits how many days you can work in a row. If you want to work a lot of days in a row without a day off, you can. If your employer demands you to work for numerous days without a rest day, it can. However, federal law does require employers to pay overtime to non-exempt workers who work too many hours in a workweek.

This does not necessarily mean that your state’s employment law will not have additional protections for workers.

(Video) How many days in a row can you work without a day off?

Do any state labor laws require a day off?

State labor laws can limit how many days you work in a row. However, only a few states have these laws, which are known as “One Day Rest in Seven” laws. Those that do have one of these laws forbid employers from requiring you to work 7 days in a row.

New York is one example.

There, employers are required to give their employees at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in a calendar week. However, the law only applies to certain employees of the following types of employers:

  • factories,
  • mercantile establishments,
  • hotels,
  • restaurants,
  • freight or passenger elevators,
  • movie theaters,
  • theaters, and
  • office buildings.1

Other states also have One Day Rest in Seven laws. Some of these include:

  • California,2
  • Illinois,3
  • Massachusetts,4 and
  • Wisconsin.5

The penalties for violating these laws depend on the state. For example, in Illinois, employers can face a fine that depends on how many workers they have:

  • if they have 24 or fewer employees, $250 per offense, and
  • if they have 25 or more employees, $500 per offense.6

Employers in Illinois also have to pay an amount equal to the fine to each employee affected.7

Generally, though, these laws do not apply when a full-time employee works under a collective bargaining agreement.

When am I entitled to overtime pay?

If you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, you are entitled to overtime pay under federal law. State employment law may be more generous than that, though.

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that mandates overtime pay, as well as other employment issues like a minimum wage. It requires overtime pay of 1.5, or one and one-half, times your regular rate of pay if you work over 40 hours in a workweek.8 It only applies to non-exempt workers, however.

Under the FLSA, a workweek is a fixed set of 7 consecutive 24-hour periods. It can begin at any point during the calendar week but, once set, it cannot be changed to manipulate how many hours you work in a week.9

If you work lots of days in a row, you are likely to accrue more than 40 hours of work. You are entitled to overtime pay for every hour you work after your 40th. However, if you do not work many hours each day, you may not be entitled to overtime pay under federal law. State laws, however, may be more generous in their overtime provisions.

What is the law in California?

California labor law protects workers in 2 ways that affect how many days you can work in a row:

  1. it requires rest days every workweek, and
  2. it provides more overtime pay.

These protections are stronger than those provided by the federal FLSA. If your employer violates them, they can face a wage and hour lawsuit that can lead to civil penalties. In some cases, your employer may even be committing a crime.

You can invoke your rights with the legal advice of an employment attorney.

Rest days every week

California is one of the states that has a One Day Rest in Seven law. This law forbids employers from requiring covered employees to work more than 6 out of 7 days in a week.10

That required day of rest has to come every calendar week, not every 7 days.11 This means that you can work up to 12 days in a row without triggering the law’s protections.

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For example: On week 1, Larry is given Sunday off. He then works Monday through Saturday. On week 2, Larry works Sunday through Friday and then gets Saturday off.

Not all employees are covered by this law, though. 2 major exemptions are for workers who:

  1. are part-time, do not work more than 30 hours in the week, and do not work 6 or more hours on any day during that week,12 or
  2. perform emergency services that are necessary to protect life or property damage, or maintain trains.13

The workers who provide emergency services, however, are entitled to a monthly equivalent of 1 day of rest per week.14

Employees who are covered by the law can still choose to work all 7 days in a week. Before you do so, though, your employer has to tell you about your rights to an off day and cannot encourage you to waive them.15

Employers who violate California’s One Day Rest in Seven law commit a crime. It is a misdemeanor.16 They have to pay you your lost wages as well as a civil fine of:

  • for a first violation, $50 for each pay period for each affected employee,
  • for subsequent violations, $100 for each pay period for each affected employee, and
  • the amount of the underpaid wages.17

Overtime pay

California’s overtime laws can also activate if you work more than 6 days in a row.

Unlike federal overtime laws, California’s entitle non-exempt employees to overtime pay if they work more than 6 consecutive days in a workweek.18 However, those days cannot straddle 2 workweeks. Your employer sets your workweek.

For example: Kelly’s workweek begins on Tuesdays. Her current work schedule has her working 7 straight days, from Thursday of week 1 to Wednesday of week 2. She is not entitled to overtime due to her consecutive days worked because the seven-day period straddles 2 workweeks. The first 5 days are in her first workweek, while the last 2 are in her second. She may still be entitled to overtime for another reason, though, like the number of hours she works.

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You may even be entitled to double-time pay if you work numerous days in a row.

In California, you are entitled to double-time pay – or twice your normal rate of pay – for hours worked beyond the eighth hour of your seventh day of work in the workweek.19 Just like with overtime pay, though, those 7 days cannot straddle 2 workweeks.

Legal References:

  1. New York Labor Code 161.
  2. California Labor Code section 551 and 552 LAB.
  3. 820 ILCS 140/2.
  4. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 149, Section 48.
  5. Wisconsin Statute 103.85.
  6. 820 ILCS 140/7(a).
  7. Same.
  8. 29 USC 207(a).
  9. 29 CFR 778.105.
  10. California Labor Code 552 LAB.
  11. Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., 2 Cal.5th 1074 (2017).
  12. California Labor Code 556 LAB and Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., supra note 11.
  13. California Labor Code 554(a) LAB.
  14. Same.
  15. Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., supra note 11.
  16. California Labor Code 553 LAB.
  17. California Labor Code 558(a) LAB.
  18. California Labor Code 510 LAB.
  19. Same.

About the Author

How many days in a row can you work without a day off? (2)

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


How many days in a row can you work without a day off? ›

This law forbids employers from requiring covered employees to work more than 6 out of 7 days in a week. That required day of rest has to come every calendar week, not every 7 days. This means that you can work up to 12 days in a row without triggering the law's protections.

How many days is too many days to work in a row? ›

How Many Days Straight Can You Work in California? You can work up to 12 days in a row in California without a day off.

Can I work all 7 days? ›

Under California Labor Code sections 551 and 552, employees are entitled to one day of rest out of seven, and employers cannot require their employees to work more than six days a week. If your boss violates these rules, they could be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Can my employer only give me one day off? ›

For a Full-Time Worker

As a full-time worker, you are fully entitled to receive one day off in a seven-day workweek. If your employer denies your right to a rest day, you may have cause to bring forth legal action because of an employee rights violation.

How many days in a row can you work without a day off in PA? ›

Answer and Explanation: *Seven consecutive days an employee legally works without a day off in Pennsylvania. Labor law of Pennsylvania guides that an employee can work seven days in a row without a day off. However, after seven days employer must provide a day off to the employees.

Is it bad to work 7 days a week? ›

While working seven days a week can affect your mental health and long-term productivity, there are several ways to manage this type of work schedule. Understanding the various ways to do this can help you avoid burnout and may grant you greater job satisfaction.

How many days of work is too much? ›

But many of us are guilty of working long hours and not focusing on our health. So how much work is too much? A recent study by the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization shows that working more than 55 hours a week can have negative effects on your health.

What happens if you work everyday? ›

Too much work can be damaging to your mental and physical health. You're more likely to suffer from adverse health problems, including neck, back, or chest pain, stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and anxiety.

How to survive working 6 days a week? ›

Here are some tips to help you survive the 60-hour workweek.
  1. Remember to Take Breaks. LeoPatrizi / Getty Images. ...
  2. Keep Up With Your Exercise Routine. T.T. / Getty Images. ...
  3. Make Time for Fun. ...
  4. Drink Plenty of Water. ...
  5. Limit Your Caffeine Intake. ...
  6. Avoid Working Seven Days a Week. ...
  7. Don't Overdo It With Junk Food. ...
  8. Get Enough Sleep.
Nov 20, 2019

How do you deal with working everyday? ›

If you dread going to work every day, here are twelve things you can try to mitigate your feelings.
  1. Talk To Your Boss About Your Workload. Talking to your leader is the best step if you feel overworked or stressed. ...
  2. Create A Daily Routine For Yourself. ...
  3. Set Goals For Yourself. ...
  4. Try To Identify The Issue.
Jan 1, 2023

Can I be fired for refusing to come in on my day off? ›

Can an Employer Force You to Work on Your Day Off? Your employer can require that you work on your day off. You can refuse to work on your day off, but your employer will have the right to fire you if they wish to.

Can a manager deny a day off? ›

Yes, the decision to approve or deny the use of accrued vacation time is up to you. But you should have—and document—a legitimate business reason for doing so. This is also assuming you deny vacation requests in a consistent and nondiscriminatory manner.

Can my boss refuse to give me a day off? ›

Paid vacation time or sick time is not legally required in most areas of the United States, so even if you request time away, your employer usually does not have to give it to you. Your employer can generally deny your request for time off if you are using vacation time, paid time off (PTO), or sick time.

Can my employer force me to work 7 days a week in PA? ›

Pennsylvania does not possess any labor law capping the number of days an employee can work in a row. However, employees should ensure the employer pays the proper wage for all overtime hours.

Can you be fired for refusing to work overtime in PA? ›

Your employer may discipline or terminate you if you refuse to work overtime. If you are not an exempt employee, your employer must pay you 1-1/2 times your regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 per week. However, collective bargaining agreements may specifically govern this issue.

Is it legal to work 16 hours a day in PA? ›

Neither Pennsylvania nor federal law establish limits on the number of hours employees can work in a day or workweek. All employees who are over the age of 16 are free to determine for themselves how many hours per day or week they are able to work.

Is an 80 hour work week possible? ›

Working for 80+ hours could be considered an extreme sport, and, as such, you shouldn't do it every day. If you still have to do it from time to time, sticking to a strict routine and blocking your time will help you succeed. Friendly advice: Don't make working 80+ hours per week into a routine.

Is working 70 hours a week too much? ›

Working 70-hour weeks can be challenging, but it's also a way for some people to achieve their financial and career goals. By learning strategies to coordinate your work and manage your priorities, you can make this schedule more sustainable and continue pursuing an ambitious career path.

Is 60 hours a week too much work? ›

Working 60 hours a week can be one way to earn a higher salary, while also proving your dedication to your job and the company. Before you commit to these long work hours, make sure you're maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

How do you know if you are overworked? ›

Major signs of overworking include having trouble relaxing and feeling like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done. Other telltale signs include never being able to complete a to-do list and seeing our health deteriorate, such as gaining or losing weight.

How many days of work is healthy? ›

Four-Day Work Weeks Are Good for Your Health, a Large Study Finds. A four-day work week improves employees' health in numerous ways, from reducing anxiety and stress to enabling better sleep and more time for exercise, according to a large new report.

What is excessive workload? ›

Excessive workload is generally when one individual has far too much work to handle on their own. An increased or excessive workload can cause symptoms of stress at work, particularly where there is a lack of extra help or support.

How many days a week of work is normal? ›

Most employees work eight hours a day for five days a week, which means they typically work 40 hours per week.

Is it normal to have no days off? ›

California is one of the states that has a One Day Rest in Seven law. This law forbids employers from requiring covered employees to work more than 6 out of 7 days in a week. That required day of rest has to come every calendar week, not every 7 days.

Is it okay to work 100 hours a week? ›

An occasional 100-hour week is alright. But I've never seen it work as a consistent practice. You end up feeling like you're constantly playing catch-up in your own life. That's true of all long hours whether it's a 65- or a 100-hour workweek, and it's becoming increasingly common.

What does an 80 hour week look like? ›

For a moment, forget the 40 hour week, and consider an 80 hour work week instead. Also referred to as a 9/80 work schedule, it typically consists of two-week periods where the workers commit to eight nine-hour days and one eight-hour day, with an additional one day off.

How many hours is healthy to work? ›

In the end, scientists generally agree that the ideal daily working time is around 6 hours, and more concentrated in the morning.

Is it normal to dread work everyday? ›

Is It Normal To Dread Working? Yes, it's completely normal to dread going to work. If you wake up and can't bear the thought of working, take a mental health day. If the feeling lasts for days, weeks, or even months, that may be a sign that it's time to look for a new job.

What is the best hours to work a week? ›

If you want to achieve the perfect blend of productivity, happiness, and time affluence, a more realistic goal is to work slightly below 40 hours per week. The research shows that even shaving an hour or two off of the standard 40-hour workweek can have huge benefits, both at work and at home.

How long can you work everyday? ›

Generally, workers can legally work as many hours in a day as they choose to or as their employer requires. No federal or state law caps the number of hours in a workday for most workers. However, workers under 16 years old are not allowed to work longer than 8-hour days.

Can calling in sick get you fired? ›

The State of California's Paid Sick Leave Laws

It is illegal for a California employer to terminate your employment if you use sick leave that you have accrued and are entitled to use. If you are fired for using your sick leave, you might be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

Can your boss text you off the clock? ›

Employers who often send emails or text to their employees outside their working hours while not paying them for working off-the-clock risk a potential FLSA violation. Encouraging off-the-clock work while not paying your non-exempt employees for these activities is illegal.

Do you have to answer your personal phone for work? ›

Personal use includes checking social media accounts and playing games during working hours. Employees are not expected to use company phones after hours. There is no legal rule that an employee must answer phone calls or emails outside of business hours.

Is it illegal to never have a day off? ›

There is no legal requirement in California that an employer provide its employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time.

How much unpaid time off is too much? ›

If you take unapproved time off, the employer does have the right to terminate your employment. Employers are only prohibited from terminating your employment if you take 12 or fewer weeks of unpaid leave in any given year for a protected reason.

What is my manager not allowed to do? ›

Tasks your boss cannot legally ask you to do without paying you for them include: Any sort of prep work, including paperwork, research, or even preparing dinner before a night shift. Skill training during non-work hours. Cleaning and organizing your workplace after your shift ends.

How far in advance should you ask for time off? ›

Employers typically request reasonable advance notice for vacation time, such as one week's notice for short vacations (one or two days). Employers often require more notice for longer vacations (such as one month's notice for vacations lasting three or more days).

How soon after starting a job can you ask for time off? ›

The general rule of thumb is likely to wait around three to six months. However, it strongly depends on the organization and their culture. He went on to explain that many companies clearly dictate what their vacation policy is. Some have you accrue more and more time-off the longer you're there.

What is the shortest shift you can legally work? ›

California's 4-hour minimum shift law necessitates that companies pay workers who show up to work but are not permitted to work their full shifts. This rule is also known as California's Reporting Time Pay Law.

Can my employer force me to take a lunch break in PA? ›

Meal/Rest Breaks

Unless you're an employee between the ages of 14-17, there is no state law regarding meal breaks. However, each individual employer can choose to allow their employees a meal break. If a lunch break lasts 20 minutes or longer it is unpaid.

Is 32 hours full-time in PA? ›

Part-time employment is less than 40 hours per workweek. Full-time employment is 40 hours per workweek.

Is it illegal to work 8 hours without a break in PA? ›

If an employee works 8 or more consecutive hours, the employer must provide a 30-minute break and an additional 15 minute break for every additional 4 consecutive hours worked. Applies to retail establishments.

How many hours straight can you legally work in PA? ›

Answer: An employee who is required to work more than 12 consecutive hours per workday where mandatory overtime is allowed under section 3(c) of Act 102 or who volunteers to work more than 12 consecutive hours shall be entitled to at least 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time immediately after the worked overtime.

How many sick days are required by law in PA? ›

Employees can earn 1 hour of sick leave for every 40 hours they work. A maximum of 40 sick leave hours may be earned in a calendar year. Sick leave may be used after an employee has worked a minimum of 90 days. It can be requested verbally or in writing and must be paid at the worker's normal rate.

What are my rights as an employee in PA? ›

Under Pennsylvania law, employees are entitled certain leaves or time off, including jury duty leave, crime victim leave, emergency responder leave and military leave. See Time Off and Leaves of Absence. Pennsylvania prohibits smoking in the workplace and texting while driving. See Health and Safety.

What is the fair workweek law in PA? ›

The Fair Workweek law in Philadelphia requires covered employers to provide service, retail, and hospitality workers with a predictable work schedule. It also requires good faith estimates and 14 days advance notice of schedule, along with other protections.

When can an employer ask for a doctor's note in Pennsylvania? ›

The Family and Medical Leave Act

The FMLA permits employers to request a doctor's note or medical certification when an employee first requests leave under the FMLA. If the employee is on extended leave, a doctor's note can typically be requested only every 30 days.

How many working days is normal? ›

As a rule, a common year consists of 52 weeks and 260 work days. A leap year may contain an extra work day, so there will be 261 work days.

Can you work 7 days in a row in Texas? ›

Under state law, an employer may not require any employee to work seven consecutive days in a retail establishment and may not deny an employee at least 24 consecutive hours off for rest or worship in each seven-day period. The time off must be in addition to any regular periods of rest allowed during each work day.

Can you work 7 days in a row in Massachusetts? ›

Employees have to pay their employees within six business days of the close of a given pay period for which any wages were earned when the employee worked five to six days in a given week. If an employee works all seven days in a given week, their employer must pay that employee within a week.

How many days in a row can you work without a day off in NY? ›

Here's everything you need to know about how many days in a row you can work in New York. The New York State Labor Law mandates certain employees to have one day of rest in a calendar week. Such employees may only work for six days in a row in a week.

How long should you work everyday? ›

Ideal work hours per day and week

Those who felt like they had the least time overall worked 8.6 hours, whereas those who felt like they had the most time worked just one hour less, or 7.6 hours. So to not feel starved for time, aim for a 7.6 hour workday. That would equate to a 38-hour workweek.

How many hours of work a week is healthy? ›

Researchers claim that there is a 60 percent increase in risk of cardiovascular diseases if you work more than 10 hours per day. That means that over 50 hours of work will cause heart issues. Working more than a 40-hour workweek consistently can lead to mental health issues.

What is 10 working days in normal days? ›

10 business days is 2 weeks long, not counting the weekend days, Saturday and Sunday. This means that 10 business days technically equates to 14 full days.

How many days in a row can you legally work in the US? ›

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not limit the number of hours or days that an employee age 16 or older can be required to work. In many private-employer environments, exempt employees are expected to work as many hours as necessary to complete all their job duties.

Is it legal to work 14 days in a row in Texas? ›

The Texas Workforce Commission does not prohibit the number of hours and consecutive days that employers can require their employees who are 16 or older to work without giving them a day of rest, so long as the employer is following all federal laws pertaining to wages and overtime.

Is a 12 hour shift a double? ›

Any work beyond 12 hours per day by hourly employees is paid double time. Rest Breaks: Employees who work 12 hours per day are also entitled to at least three 10-minute rest breaks. If the employee was not provided any of these rest breaks, the employee is entitled to an additional one hour pay at the regular rate.

Can you work 7 days in a row in the US? ›

Employers can get permission from the Department of Labor to work their employees 7 days a week, but they can only do that a maximum of 8 weeks a year. See the complete rules here. The Department of Labor also enforces the law on behalf of employees. Their “One Day Rest in Seven Act” number is (312) 793-2804.

Is it legal to work 7 days a week without a day off in New York? ›

Employers in New York State must provide certain employees with at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in any calendar week. This is referred to as a day of rest, and the Guidelines (below) provide more specific details. Employers may apply for a variance from the day of rest requirement.

Is 32 hours full time in MA? ›

Full-Time Employee.

35 to 40 hours.

Can an employer charge you for quitting? ›

If there's a contract with a specified period of work like six months or two years, etc then quitting before the contracted date is breech of contract and all penalties apply. So yes the employer can impose early release penalties plus repayment of any and all sign on bonuses and perks.

Is it legal to work 7 days a week without a day off in Virginia? ›

There are no laws governing how many hours or days a week Virginia employees over the age of 16 are allowed to work.

How can I find out if my employee is working somewhere else? ›

Contact any employers you find during your search. The employer may not give you detailed information, particularly if it does not currently employ the person; however, the employer's representative can verify whether the person currently works there. Order an employment search from an online search service.


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3. How I Work 60+ Hours A Week Without Losing My Mind
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4. Will You Lose Muscle If You Take A Week Off From Training?
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5. Can You Train the Same Exercise 2 DAYS in a ROW
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6. The Importance of Rest Days
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