Many California workers who are required to make phone calls, send texts or write emails after normal work hours may be interested to learn that their employer may be responsible for paying them for this work. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are required to pay non-exempt employees for any and all overtime hours that they work, which could include any work done on mobile devices after normal work hours.
Even further, employers can be liable for making overtime payments to workers even if they have a written policy that forbids employees from working additional hours. If the employer receives and accepts any work-related emails, texts or phone calls from an employee, for example, it could owe that employee overtime pay. In these situations, however, the employer may actually fail to make that payment due to the written policy preventing employees from working overtime.
However, there are cases where it may be determined that the employer is not required to pay for overtime work. In one case, for example, city workers sued the city of Chicago for failing to pay overtime for overtime work that was completed by employees on city-issued cell phones. The 7th Circuit determined that the city of Chicago did not have actual or constructive knowledge regarding overtime work as the employer had no way of checking employees’ time sheets against the actual number of hours they worked.
Some salaried workers may also be entitled to overtime pay, depending upon how much they earn. An employment law attorney could file a wage and hour claim against the employer if there is evidence, such as time sheets, that prove that the employer failed to pay the employee for his or her work that was completed after normal work hours.