Overtime Concerns with Mobile Devices

HR Resource
April 29, 2014 — 2,942 views  
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The advent of mobile technology has brought along repercussions that have changed the way people work in a professional environment. Some organizations allow BYOD ( bring your own device) as they let the employees train and work using their own mobile devices. Mobile devices have become instrumental in providing a round-the-clock connectivity which is beneficial for a progressive organization banking on a virtual workspace. This new trend has seen many employers providing their employees with mobile devices as it has been observed to improve their productivity.

Although the security issues regarding the access to a company’s confidential and sensitive content using personal devices have been resolved, what has eventually emerged has left the payroll administrators perplexed.

Regulations laid down by FLSA

Employees who use mobile devices for official overtime work have laid claim to overtime wages for the additional work hours. According to the policies of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee can choose to work for as many hours in a work week as opposed to the normal 40 hours. If an employee exceeds the 40 hour limit the employers have been mandated by FLSA to compensate the employee with one and half times the regular wage rate for the overtime. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in civil liabilities for the organization as working with mobile devices or remote work has become a billable service.

The overtime exemption ruling

The overtime exemption ruling by FLSA states that the employment status of an employee falls under the purview of the “White Collar Exemptions’ if they use company-provided mobile devices. The exempted employee must work in an administrative capacity and should be regarded as a bona fide executive who has qualified the ‘salary’ and ‘duty’ tests for overtime pay exemption. An exempted professional is a salaried employee who is entitled to a minimum wage of $455 per week amounting to an annual compensation package of $23,660. The employees who are not entitled to a minimum wage are eligible for overtime benefits if they exceed 40 hours a week.

Overtime issues with non-exempt remote workers

The US Department of Labor has decreed that the employees must be compensated for any job they undertake for a company, irrespective of the location of their work. Many firms provide their employees with mobile devices to check work-related e-mails, voice mails and orders with specific instructions to respond promptly to messages and phone calls. The normal working hours often fall short to complete the projects within a given time frame. 

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