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Could nonexempts’ use of smartphones cause wage-and-hour liability?

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in Centerpiece,Employment Law,Human Resources

woman talking on phoneQ. We recently gave some of our hourly employees smartphones so they could be available when they are not at the workplace. Do we need to worry about wage-and-hour issues stemming from their use of these phones?

A. Failing to pay employees for off-the-clock work is one of the more common violations of federal and state wage-and-hour laws. Nonexempt employees’ use of smartphones and BlackBerrys (as well as online email access from remote locations) has increased worker productivity. However, it has also substantially increased the risk of off-the-clock-work violations.

It is not unlawful under federal or state law for nonexempt employees to perform these activities outside their normally scheduled hours. What is unlawful is for nonexempt employees to perform these activities without the time being properly recorded and paid in accordance with federal and state minimum wage and overtime laws.

De minimis rule

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