Unacceptable working conditions are often accompanied by long and unrealistic working hours. Factory managers often force overtime, particularly when deadlines are imminent. In many cases, overtime is demanded at the last minute and workers are given no choice; any protest on their part could lead to dismissal. Long working hours without sufficient breaks can then lead to health problems. Women in particular, have been reported to struggle with the demands of a stressful factory environment combined with pressures from home; many women working in the garment industry are solely responsible for their families. Whilst garment workers are attempting to support themselves and their families, stressful conditions are making this task even tougher.
Long working hours and forced overtime are a major concern among garment workers. Factory managers typically push employees to work between 10 and 12 hours, sometimes 16 to 18 hours a day. When order deadlines loom, working hours get longer. A seven-day working week is becoming the norm during the peak season, particularly in China, despite limits placed by the law.