Should Workers Get Overtime for Answering Emails After Hours?
A new overtime rule proposed by the Labor Department would raise to $50,440 the minimum salary an employee must make before they can be classified as exempt from overtime. The Obama administration estimates this change would extend overtime pay to nearly 5 million salaried workers in a range of professions, from store managers to staff accountants, who currently are exempt under "white collar" provisions.
Attorney Phillip Schreiber said more overtime-eligible workers means greater risk of litigation and greater need for employers to establish clear policies mandating that such employees not field work-related communication on their mobile devices when they're off the clock, unless they're authorized by a supervisor.
"In addition to having a policy, you have to have training," Mr. Schreiber said. "And you don't penalize employees who don't respond to emails or texts off hours, because they're not supposed to."