From a French law limiting employees' responsibility for after-hours emails to a federal court ruling placing new federal overtime rules on hold, employment law governing overtime pay continues to adapt.
A previous post on this blog discussed a lawsuit in which Chicago police officers alleged that they were issued smartphones and required to use them while off duty, but were not paid overtime. Since that original post, a federal magistrate ruled in favor of the city of Chicago. The court determined that the city did not know that the plaintiffs were working overtime without compensation, in part because other officers did document their overtime use of smartphones and were compensated accordingly.
Wage & Hour Insights has a detailed analysis of the court's ruling:
In short, the rule is simple: employers must make a good-faith,
reasonable effort to track all work time for non-exempt employees and
pay employees accordingly. The law doesn’t mandate perfection, nor will
it hold employers liable for employees who fail to report their time
through no fault of the employer.
An appeal is pending. In the meantime, the takeaways for employers remain the same (whether considering the future of overtime regulations or employee smartphone usage): establish clear written policies, keep detailed records, and train employees accordingly.