With the increased use of laptops, cell phones and technological advances, more and more workers are working remotely. This may be a formalized agreement or simply a logical extension of the day (catching up on email from home, or while on the train). Much research has shown that enabling remote work has positive benefits – saving employers money by making work more efficient and giving employees greater satisfaction.
However, the downside is that remote working blurs lines between when you are “on” and “off” the clock, causing issues both with pay and potentially feeling like you can never get away.
While “exempt” employees are generally not entitled to overtime pay, regardless of the number of hours worked, in many circumstances “non-exempt” workers may be entitled to overtime pay. Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half their standard rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any one work week.
Thus, if a supervisor or manager is constantly emailing or texting employees “after hours” and expecting immediate responses in return, this time may be compensable. The failure to pay overtime may result in requiring the employer to pay both pay back and attorney’s fees.
In order to avoid managers over-stepping their bounds with off hours contacts and requests of both non-exempt and exempt employees, it’s important to have a policy in place concerning remote work.
For more information, or if you believe that you may not have received all the compensation you are rightfully entitled to, please contact the experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.