Non-exempt employees who respond to work-related e-mails and text messages after-hours must be paid for their time. That’s the message in a recent federal court decision.
A group of retail sales associates and supervisors just filed a lawsuit against their employer, T-Mobile USA, for back wages and unpaid OT.
They claimed they were required to use company-provided mobile devices to log into computer systems and respond to e-mail and text messages at “all hours of the day.”
The employees also alleged they were required to answer and make work-related phone calls, participate in conference calls and work off the clock during lunch breaks.
Does every minute count?
The Fair Labor Standards Act does make an exception — saying companies aren’t required to pay employees for these types of activities as long as the time spent performing them is de minimis. But the court will decide if that applies in this case.
One way to protect your company from these claims: Make sure your company has an “off-the-clock” policy requiring non-exempt employees to report all work time — no matter when it’s done.
Cite: Agui v. T-Mobile USA.