Lawsuit: Working Off Hours Via Your Smartphone

By Emma Koch

Lawsuit: Working Off Hours Via Your Smartphone

March 7, 2013 Updated Nov 23, 2013 at 3:10 AM EDT

CHICAGO, Ill. (www.incnow.tv) -- A court has allowed a class action lawsuit to proceed that is seeking overtime pay for officers who used their work-issued BlackBerry for work-related activities after their shift hours.

The officers involved are paid on an hourly basis and under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work beyond the maximum number of hours per week (usually 40 hour-work weeks).

Sergeant Jeffrey Allen has been leading this lawsuit and his lawyer, Paul Geiger, argues that hourly wage earners should be paid if they are asked to work when they aren't on-duty. He continues to argue that if the city doesn't want to pay the overtime, it could create a policy enforcing that officers turn off their phones and lock them in their lockers when they go off-duty.

This case comes at a time when many full-time employees who have smart phones are questioning whether the technology is really a convenience or is causing them to be overworked. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 66% of full-time workers own smartphones which is up from 48% over the last two years.

An article in USA Today poses the question, if one employee answers the boss's email in their "off" time, do other employees need to do the same? For more on the impacts of being available for your workplace 24/7 read the full article.




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