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Unpaid Overtime for After-Hours Emails & Smartphone Use

Unpaid Overtime for After-Hours Emails & Smartphone Use

Unpaid Overtime for After-Hours Emails & Smartphone Use

Smartphones enable us to work more efficiently and from outside of the office. Unfortunately, many employers take advantage of this.

A 75-year law came into the foreground following a lawsuit brought forward by members of the Chicago Police Department. Led by Sgt. Jeffrey Allen, the lawsuit involved overtime pay and is challenging the way we look at work – as well as what constitutes overtime pay in the average American setting.

Required to Answer Emails or Business Calls Off the Clock? You May Be Owed Overtime!

Overtime & Smartphone Use

Is Smartphone Use Considered Overtime?

The proliferation of cellphones and smartphones has meant that we’ve become connected in ways we’ve never thought possible. However, with this connectivity comes the question of intrusion by work duties in an outside of work setting. The lawsuit filed by Sgt. Allen sought to have the City of Chicago pay him and his colleagues overtime for checking and responding to work-related messages and emails on their Blackberry devices.

According to labor laws, overtime is defined as any amount of time that an individual spends on carrying out work-related duties outside of the set 40-hour workweek. This means that if your employer expects you to handle work-related communication outside of your normal working hours (say, in the evenings when you’re back home from work), he or she should be ready to pay you for this time.

How Overtime is Calculated

Overtime is calculated by taking your hourly rate and multiplying it by 1.5. Therefore, any hour worked outside of the 40-hour workweek should be compensated at a rate that’s 1.5 more than your normal hourly rate.

What makes this area of law so complex though, is that there are quite a few exemptions to overtime. In order to know if you are truly owed overtime, you really must consult with an attorney. Fortunately, Rasansky Law Firm provides FREE consultations regarding claims of unpaid overtime. Just call 1-800-ATTORNEY. It never hurts to call and find out the legal options available to you.

Sometimes, employers try to keep their costs low by doing certain unscrupulous things in order to exempt themselves from having to pay overtime.

Common illegal practices include:

  • Forcing you to punch out but still continue working.
  • Unfairly rounding off or averaging weekly work hours.
  • Misclassifying employees (e.g. calling an employee an independent contractor).
  • Not properly recording hours worked.

If your employer requires you to use an electronic device to perform work duties outside of the office and beyond your 40-hour schedule, this is considered by law as overtime. In such cases, you’ll need an experienced overtime attorney to help recover the compensation owed to you.

Please get in touch with Rasansky Law Firm at 1-800-ATTORNEY of fill in the email form found on this page with the details of your situation and send it to us today.  You deserve to be paid for every hour worked. Don’t let your employer exploit you for their benefit. Let’s get started on your case today.

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