In the not-so-distant past, a clear line separated work and nonwork hours for most employees. With the advent of personal digital assistants, e-mail and other mobile technology, however, this line has blurred for many employees. Although this shift brings potentially positive increases in productivity, it also comes with the risk of a new class of wage-and-hour litigation: overtime claims related to the off-hours use of mobile technology.
Overtime claims related to the use of mobile technology are limited to nonexempt employees. When job-related use of mobile technology outside of traditional work hours first began, it was largely limited to “exempt” employees, such as those employed in an executive capacity. Since these employees are not statutorily entitled to receive overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or applicable state wage-and-hour regulations, their off-hours use of mobile technology did not implicate overtime laws.
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