Time After Time Mandatory Overtime

930 words - 4 pages

Mandatory OvertimeRae KimNick GerogiannisJuly 12, 2004 American workers have been clocking more and more hours on the job, and they now work more hours than workers do in any other industrialized country do. Workers are also clocking more overtime hours. Working 40 hours a week or more is simply unhealthy. So why do it? From across America there comes in resounding cry of "Because I have to!" Actually, you do not. It is certainly easy to understand why some may feel they are working because they "have to." Nevertheless, if you look at those who feel forced to work 40 or more hours a week, you will probably find a list of expenses that looks something like this: Mortgage payment. Payments on one or more vehicles. Auto insurance for one or more vehicles. One or more children. Credit card debt on one or more cards Pets More monthly bills than are necessary. (More monthly bills than should be legal.) If they're fortunate, "student loans to pay off. Weekly tributes to the tobacco gods, if they smoke.Depending on the person, this list could be endless. All of the above are expensive, some immediately, some over time. Therefore, sure, people who have a list like this are likely to be found "manacled" to the 40- to 60-hour work week mentality. However, remember all of these things are choices not requirements. If you consider yourself to be working hard to make ends meet, what you really may be doing is playing a life-long game of catch up with irrational spending habits brought on by impulses to obey social pressures. The growth in overtime work, while helping to drive the healthy growth in output in the U.S., has unhealthy social costs. It is taking its toll not only on workers, but on their families, communities, and, ultimately in many cases, patients, customers, and employers. Families burdened by longer work hours are more likely to find it difficult to balance the conflicting demands of work and family. More hours spent at work mean less time with the family, less time to help a child with homework, less time for play, less time for housework, and less time for sleep. These sacrifices can translate into increased risk for accidents and injuries; greater chronic fatigue, stress, and related diseases; reduced parenting and family time; and diminished quality of goods and services - a serious public concern particularly in the health care sector. The social costs associated with...

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