Two recent lawsuits have sought to establish this line. Employees of T-Mobile USA filed a suit against the company, claiming they were expected to respond to messages outside of work hours using company cell phones. It raises the question of when employees should be paid for what they are doing.
As the workplace has changed, so have the rules that govern what constitutes “work”. It used to be simple: if you’re in the office, you’re working. If you’re not in the office, it’s personal time. Customers in this day and age, however, expect service around the clock, and if your company wishes to remain competitive, it is often necessary to provide that service. This may not be a huge issue for salaried workers, who are accustomed to late nights without extra pay, but it carries heavy consequences for hourly workers seeking overtime pay.
More and more companies are adopting stricter policies concerning cell phone usage outside of the office. What’s your company’s policy? Do you have one?