Q: My friend's work contract does not specified hours worked. What are her rights/expectations from a legal standpoint?
A friend recently (~5-6 months ago) signed on with a small company as a photographer/media organizer in Missouri. After a few months, we noticed that she was very frequently working weekends and seemed to have few days off. We asked her about it, and she expressed frustration with her schedule.
After doing some online reading, we asked her if her work contract gives any specifications of expectations for hours/days worked. It does not, being very bare bones, nor did she recall any verbal agreement regarding her hours worked beyond her job being "a lot of work" in the words of her employer. Her employer also did not retroactively give her any expectations.
In this situation, does she have any rights/legal recourse that allow her to renegotiate her schedule, or is she, for lack of a better term, SOL unless she can convince her employer to voluntarily renegotiate? Does she have any legal protections or rights that would help her?
A: This would depend on what her contract says, but based on your description, it sounds like her contract is silent on her schedule or hours of work. If this is the case, then there isn't much that can be done from a legal standpoint other than to ensure she is being properly paid for the work she is performing. There are no federal laws that place caps on the amount of hours an employee can work (assuming she is over 18).
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