Gene Lee writes a good post about whether workers should be paid for checking email after hours. More and more employees are being required to check their email after work. Accoding to a 2008 Pew internet survey, 50% of workers said they check their work email on weekends. 20% of workers said they were required to check work email and respond to it after hours. Half of Blackberry and PDA users said they were required to check and respond to work related email after hours. As Gene notes in his post, debate swirls around whether employees should be paid for this time.
In July, 2009, several T-Mobile employees sued for this uncompensated time. It is hard to understand how the employer would not be liable for this time. Anything a worker does at the employer’s request is compensable time. The real issue is likely to be how liable the employer will be. The employer should not be liable for 24/7 minimum wage coverage. But, if the employer requires a particular duty or task, then that task must be compensated. That is what the Fair Labor Standards Act is all about.