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The In-Convenience of Work Smartphones

Published:  June 16, 2015

As employers are well aware, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that non-exempt employees be compensated for all hours worked.  Determining what “all hours worked” means is not always easy, particularly with the widespread use of electronic devices such as smartphones.  The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced its intention to analyze how time spent by employees responding to e-mails and performing other “work” on smartphones impacts hours worked under the FLSA.  For employees working 40 hours at the office, such off-hours use of electronic devices could easily translate into overtime pay.  Employers would be wise to consider implementing policies addressing remote access to company networks and to revise their overtime policies in order to address this scenario under their “unauthorized overtime” provisions. 

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