Should Em­ploy­ees Re­ceive Com­pen­sa­tion for off-the-clock phone use?

The HR Digest - - Drift -

On Au­gust 3, 2017, the 7th Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals is­sued a fa­vor­able de­ci­sion in fa­vor of an em­ployer in an off-the-clock case on the is­sue of whether the em­ployer had knowl­edge of the work per­formed. The court held that the em­ployer was not li­able for over­time com­pen­sa­tion be­cause it lacked con­struc­tive knowl­edge that the plain­tiffs did not re­ceive over­time com­pen­sa­tion for per­form­ing off-duty work on their cell­phone.

The Fair La­bor Stan­dards Act (FSLA) re­quires em­ploy­ers to com­pen­sate nonex­empt em­ploy­ees at time and a half of all time worked over 40 hours in a work­week. For law en­force­ment em­ploy­ees, over­time com­pen­sa­tion is re­quired if the in­di­vid­ual works more than 171 hours per 28-day pe­riod. The law also re­quires that the em­ployer have ac­tual or con­struc­tive knowl­edge that work is be­ing per­formed to ob­li­gate over­time com­pen­sa­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the 7th Cir­cuit, em­ploy­ers must pay for the work they know about, even if they did not want the work done. In this case, the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment was not li­able for over­time com­pen­sa­tion be­cause it lacked any ac­tual or con­struc­tive knowl­edge that the plain­tiffs did not re­ceive over­time com­pen­sa­tion for per­form­ing cer­tain du­ties off-the-clock on their Smart­phones.

Em­ploy­ers must pay for the work they know about, even if they did not ask for the work. If an em­ployer pre­vents or dis­cour­ages em­ploy­ees from re­port­ing un­paid time, the pres­ence of a process for re­port­ing un­paid time will not pro­tect the em­ployer from li­a­bil­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.