New App Prevents Employees From Checking Work Email After Hours

By Eric B. Meyer

Today’s post is sponsored by the letters S, E, and O

With a tip of the hat to whomever posted a link to this story on Twitter, the other day I was reading about this app that companies can install on employees’ smartphones and tablets that would preclude them from sending/receiving work-related email on those devices.

Why would you want to do that?

Off the clock emails for non-exempt employees

For starters, app maker touts the feature as increasing productivity, reducing stress, and creating a more stark line between work and personal time.

You see, the Fair Labor Standards Act (and, by extension, parallel state laws) requires that employers pay minimum wage to all employees and overtime to non-exempt employees, like #AlexFromTarget, for all hours over 40 worked in a particular work week.

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When a non-exempt employee is checking sending/receiving/checking work-related email on a handheld device either on or off the clock, unless de minimis, that is still compensable time.

You need a handbook rule

Even without this app, if you don’t want non-exempt employees using work email “off the clock,” have a rule in your handbook. You can strictly forbid non-exempt employees from sending/receiving/checking work-related emails “off the clock.”

If employees ignore the rule, you still have to compensate those employees. However, you can discipline them, too.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.

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1 Comment on “New App Prevents Employees From Checking Work Email After Hours

  1. This is a good idea to establish the work-life balance for employees. After work hours, everyone should leave immediately and go home to spend quality time with his/her family. Work is always there; it never ends. You can come back tomorrow and continue it.

    As long as you focus, pay 100% attention on your work and make your working day productive, you should not feel guilty to leaving on time. That’s the way it should be.

    I hope all employers watch closely how employees work and reinforce the work-life balance for them. And there would be no jealousy between the ones who talk too much about nonsense stuff during the working day and stay overtime and the one who work diligently and go home on time.

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