Mobile Devices

Barkan Meizlish , May 14, 2015

The increased availability and affordability of technology brings many advantages to the workplace.  For example, it is now common for employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work, rather than use a company phone or laptop.  This benefits employers and employees by saving money on company plans and devices, allowing employees to choose their preferred technology, and making it easier to work while travelling or from home.  But just because employees can work from basically any location at any given time does not mean they should.  Thus, one downside to the BYOD environment is the potential wage and hour issues that result from the 24 / 7 access to these devices.

The average person will check their phone approximately 150 times each day, according to the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends Report.  Needless to say, it is very likely that employees will make work related calls or emails after the regular workday, which could push them into overtime hours for the week.  And under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at one and one-half times their regular rate when they work over 40 hours in a week.  To safeguard against FLSA violations, employers can consider several options.  They may want to monitor non-exempt employees’ use of personal devises for work purposes, or limit their use all together.  Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools can also further this purpose by allowing companies to control the use of non-exempt employees’ mobile devices after work hours.  Regardless, employers should be aware of the risks and set clear BYOD policies for when and where non-exempt employees may use mobile devices for work.

Source: The Weary Worker: Overtime Considerations for Non-Exempt Employee Mobile Device Use, THE NATIONAL LAW REVIEW (September 19, 2014),

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