What are the ‘off-the-clock work’ trouble spots? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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What are the ‘off-the-clock work’ trouble spots?

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. Some of my employees have been griping that a portion of their job duties involves “off-the-clock” work. What are the rules regarding off-the-clock work, and what are some examples?

A. Working outside of one’s scheduled work time without pay is generally known as working “off-the-clock.” Failing to pay employees for off-the-clock work is a common violations of federal and state wage-and-hour laws.

Nonexempt employees’ use of smartphones and email access from remote locations have increased worker productivity, but have also substantially increased the risk of off-the-clock work violations. The most commonly litigated off-the-clock work violations that result from available technology include the following:

  • Remote communications engaged in by nonexempt employees (via phones or email)
  • Remote computer work performed by nonexempt employees, particularly where employees connect to the employer’s servers to perform compensable work
  • Time that nonexempts spend at work waiting for computers or other systems to boot up or shut down
  • Being required to check or respond to voice mails or emails before or after regularly scheduled hours
  • Uploading or downloading information to a company website or server
  • Performing required online training or completing required job-related paperwork online after hours.

It is unlawful for nonexempt employees to perform these activities without the time being properly recorded and paid.

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