What can I do about an employee who refuses to work mandatory overtime?

Q. Despite the recession, my business is going gangbusters. Instead of having to lay off people, I’m in the position of having to schedule lots of overtime. I have one employee, though, who is balking at having to work more than 40 hours a week. He’s really hurting my production. Do I have any recourse against this employee for refusing overtime?

An Ohio employer can legally require its employees to work overtime. There are no federal or Ohio laws that prohibit or otherwise limit the right of an employer to require employees to work as many hours as an employer sees fit in a day or week.

If an employee refuses to work overtime, an employer can discipline that employee, up to and including termination. The only restriction placed on overtime work is that it must be paid at the statutory premium of 1½ times the regular rate.