Is an employer permitted an employee to work overtime hours without the consent of an employer?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 2009 CanLII 31177 (ON SC):

Leaving aside the statutory framework, it is the fundamental right of the employer to control its business, including employees’ schedules, hours of work and overtime hours.[3] The ability to authorize overtime is in fact one of the legal criteria used to assess whether or not an employee is considered managerial and exempt from the hours of work provisions of the CLC.[4] An employee cannot unilaterally and without agreement of the employer determine what is “work” (i.e., services to be paid for). Put another way, an employee cannot foist services on an employer and expect to be paid wages for them. Where an employer’s overtime policy contains a provision that requires prior authorization, the employee is not entitled to work overtime hours at the employee’s own initiative and then claim entitlement to overtime pay: Chabaylo v. Koscis Transport Ltd., [2003] C.L.A.D. No. 519 at paras 4 and 10. Conversely, an employer cannot avoid its statutory obligations by knowingly permitting employees to work overtime and then later taking the position the overtime was not authorized: RSB Logistics at paras 30 and 37.

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