That 1 A.M. Cell Phone Call to a Worker May Require Overtime Pay

Monday, January 28, 2019

Jennifer Williams, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discussed employers possibly being on the hook for overtime pay if an employee uses their phone for work outside of their shift with Bloomberg Law. For some employers, first- and second-line managers could be to blame for requiring or allowing off-hours contact with employees without knowing where the line on compensable time is drawn, Williams said. “We have seen every version of a case where an employee claims they worked and have not been properly compensated,” Williams said of the Southern District of Florida courts. “I don’t think employers are deliberately trying to not pay folks, or deliberately trying to violate the statute. But the statute is so paternalistic and so hard to comply with from a technological perspective” that it’s paramount that supervisors understand what compensable time is for overtime-eligible employees. Employers should track off-hours work to protect themselves from litigation, but if the work can be quantified and tracked, then it probably doesn’t qualify as “de minimis” and should be compensated, Williams said.

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