stories filed under: "overtime"
We've had plenty of stories over the years about how the whole barriers between "work" and "life" continue to blur, and that's causing problems in some areas. Two years ago, we noted that some employees were upset to have to sign documents making it clear that checking email on Blackberries would not count towards overtime work. Last year, we questioned if paying employees hourly wages still made sense in many cases because of situations like this. The issue has come up again, as a Chicago police officer is suing for overtime for use of his Blackberry during off-hours. Obviously, there are some jobs where paying hourly could make sense, but if it's a job that's going to require a Blackberry and regularly checking in, it seems like it shouldn't be paid hourly, but as an exempt employee that gets paid a straight salary.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 24th 2008 12:05pm
from the does-checking-your-Blackberry-count-as-work dept
We've talked about the question of the work-life balance plenty of times, as people begin to recognize that "life" (such as personal surfing) is showing up in the office and "work" (such as checking your email) is showing up at home. However, that's leading to a few problems with some legacy systems. For example, what does it mean for workers who are paid on an hourly basis, with the potential for overtime? That problem recently came up when ABC News tried to make it clear to new staff writers that they couldn't count time checking their Blackberries as being work hours for overtime purposes. While the two sides settled this issue internally, it does raise plenty of questions for other hourly workers who are still expected to "check-in" from time to time outside of the office. This might not be a huge problem, as many jobs that require a Blackberry tend not to be paid hourly -- but these types of issues are likely to keep showing up as workplaces struggle to deal with changing work and lifestyles.