I work in the hospital industry. My question is, is my boss in all her rights to offer extra hours to the same people and not all her employees. It’s not evenly spread out to all my colleagues including myself.

  • have you asked for more overtime? – Kilisi Oct 8 '19 at 11:07
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    A location would really help here. In the UK for instance, it's pretty black and white illegal to stop some employees working overtime while letting others do so. – berry120 Oct 8 '19 at 13:11
  • Is there some needed qualification for this overtime work, or some characteristic that would make it more attractive to the boss to only use certain people in overtime situations (such as a faster worker, doing more accurate work) that would mean less overtime paid out for better workers who can get the job done faster or less rework? Minimizing overtime salaries would be a good management goal, and if she can get the work done with 5 people-hours of overtime with experienced workers vs. 7 people-hours with novices, then it makes sense to the company to only use those faster workers. – Milwrdfan Oct 8 '19 at 18:27
  • In this site, what your manager should do is irrelevant (unless the manager asks). What is legal or illegal is also secondary. The question should be: How do I get my manager to give me more overtime? – gnasher729 Oct 9 '19 at 11:25
  • @berry120 Fairly sure that is only considered illegal if the reason for preventing the individual from working overtime is a protected characteristic. – motosubatsu Oct 9 '19 at 11:25

is my boss in all her rights to offer extra hours to the same people and not all her employees

In general yes - unless you can prove they are excluding certain people from overtime offers because of some characteristic (e.g. gender, race) that is protected by law where you live then they can offer the extra hours to whomever they like for whatever reason they like. Some of these reasons may well be quite reasonable - it can be a reward for good performance, or that particular employees have shown themselves to be more productive during overtime than others. Others aren't quite so reasonable - giving perks to friends or relations etc, but reasonable or not there's nothing saying they have to spread it out evenly.

If you suspect the manager is abusing their power for personal reasons rather than acting in the best interests of the hospital you might be able to take it up with them and see what happens - but I think you'd probably need to take something concrete about how the manager's behavior is actually hurting your employer rather than just the "fairness" of it all.

If you have a union available to you it may be worth having a conversation with your rep before you do anything - there may be specific union rules that come in to play for you here.


What do you mean by “boss”? You can ask for more overtime. If you are refused, and you think for no good reasons (say only your manager’s good friends get overtime), you can complain to the manager’s manager.

What your manager does is not illegal, but if it is unfair, someone above them might care and fix it. Or they don’t care.


Unless there is a union contract, or some other legally binding document stating otherwise, your Boss is perfectly withing the legal and ethical purview of the job to do so.

The only exception is if it is either due to discrimination not based on performance, or a punitive act of retaliation for some sort of whistle-blowing or job action.

i.e., racial bias, union busting, cutting hours due to a complaint filed.

Even if it is one of these exceptions, the burden of proof remains on you to bring any sort of action.

  • In many companies, your manager (often called “the boss”) has absolutely no right to treat employees unfairly, due to company policy, and doing so can get them fired. And even if there are no negative consequences for the manager, preferring his “besties” and good mates is highly unethical b – gnasher729 Oct 8 '19 at 14:17
  • @gnasher729 There's what is right, what is ethical, and what is legal. Seldom do they meet on any common ground. I don't answer based on 'whataboutisms' – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '19 at 15:59
  • So why did you say it was ethical? – gnasher729 Oct 9 '19 at 11:28
  • @gnasher729 did you read the exceptions I mentioned? – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 9 '19 at 11:46

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