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Does Working on the Phone but off the Clock Require Overtime Pay?

These days, leaving the office doesn't necessarily mean leaving work behind. Between e-mail and smartphones, workers are finding themselves engaged in work long after they've punched out of the office. But should taking calls or returning e-mail after hours be considered activity that is off-the-clock or paid?

That's the question at the heart of a lawsuit recently filed by employees of T-Mobile, who allege that they should have been paid for responding to work messages after hours. According to The Wall Street Journal, the employees were told that they should expect to work extra hours as part of T-Mobile's "standard business practices."

Although technology enables employees to work after hours, suits like the one against T-Mobile are cropping up more frequently because of the recession. As Proskauer Rose partner Greg Rasin explained to the WSJ, companies are trying to do the same amount of work with fewer people, and this can result in hours-creep.

There's additional discussion of the WSJ story by Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 11, 2009 at 02:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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