Overworked in America? Journal Article uri icon



  • PurposeThough a number of demographics (e.g. sex, age) have been associated with work overload, scholars have yet to consider the potential impact of immigrant status. This is important because immigrants constitute a significant proportion of the workforce, and evidence suggests many employers believe they are easier to exploit. This paper aims to examine work hours, interpersonal justice, and immigrant status as predictors of work overload.Design/methodology/approachThe hypotheses were tested using a large, national random telephone survey of employees in the United States (n=2,757).FindingsAs expected, employees who worked more hours tended to perceive more work overload. Importantly, however, this effect interacted with interpersonal justice differently for immigrant and native‐born employees. Justice attenuated the effect of work hours for the former but seemed to exacerbate it somewhat for the latter. Of note, the interactive effect was more than five times larger for immigrants than for natives.Practical implicationsThe study shows that supervisors might require their employees to work longer hours without necessarily being perceived as abusive (i.e. overloading them). Doing so, however, requires treating employees justly in the form of respect, courtesy, and dignity. Though this form of just treatment is important for all employees, its effects are especially pronounced for immigrants.Originality/valueThe relationship between the number of hours worked and perceptions of work overload is examined for immigrant and non‐immigrant workers in the USA.

publication date

  • February 16, 2010

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • May 31, 2017 9:24 AM

Full Author List

  • Avery DR; Tonidandel S; Volpone SD; Raghuram A

Full Editor List

  • Dietz J

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0268-3946

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 133

end page

  • 147


  • 25


  • 2