1 Sneaky Way a Nonexempt Employee Could Be Missing out on Overtime Pay

Beth Dean 11.18.15
65 Casual Young Woman On Iphone

When an employee makes the switch from a salary-based job to one that’s paid by the hour, some habits could keep them from receiving all of the pay they’re entitled to.

Those who are exempt from overtime pay or paid on a salary basis tend to develop working habits that accommodate their job expectations, such as checking emails while at home or on weekends, taking work calls after normal business hours, working late to finish a large project, eating at the desk or taking shorter breaks, not worrying about clocking out to run short errands, and more.

When overtime reform becomes official and these formerly salaried workers suddenly find themselves paid on an hourly basis, these habits can either lead to excessive overtime payments or worse, unpaid work, which could put the company in significant trouble.

Here’s a closer look at one way an hourly-paid employee who is not exempt from overtime pay could actually be missing out on compensation he or she is entitled to:

The employee has a mobile phone with work email on it.

Put simply, hourly paid or nonexempt employees should not have the company’s email on their phones. Even taking a few minutes to quickly check or respond to an email message is considered work.

The company may have some recourse by saying it did not know or expect a nonexempt employee to check emails during off hours, but the very act of emailing an employee after regular working hours can be considered a call to work, and the fact the employee has work emails on the phone, to begin with, implies that the company suffered and permitted the employee to work at any time.

The same philosophy can be applied to other phone-related technology as well, including taking calls, texting with your manager or co-worker regarding work (other than de minimus calls or texts such as weather-related closures or calling in sick), researching on the web, posting updates for the company’s official social media pages, or any other number of work-related activities that can be easily done from mobile devices at any time.

The company must prepare to pay the formerly overtime-exempt employees for performing these tasks after regular hours, or make a clear, enforced policy banning after-hours work and adjust job and deadline expectations to accommodate it.

For human resource guidance or help navigating overtime reform, please contact Nextep’s HR team.

Also on Nextep

Tax season will be here soon! Nextep will make W-2s available online and send them directly to employee homes no later than January 31, 2021.  Here’s how you can prepare for the upcoming tax season.  Get Organized Take a look at last year’s tax return and make a note of any forms or technology you used […]
Read more
Along with the new year comes new minimum wages for several states on January 1, 2021. As a reminder, when state law differs from federal law, employers must use the one that benefits the employee the most. In this case, the state minimum wages are higher than the $7.25 federal minimum wage; therefore, the state’s […]
Read more
It’s important to know about upcoming changes to tax laws and Nextep is here to make sense of them all and help you prepare for next year’s budget. Here are the changes at a glance: Social Security wage base: First $142,800 of wages in 2021 (Was $137,700) FICA – Social Security (OASDI): 6.2%, up to […]
Read more
We recently reported that President Trump signed an executive order and three memoranda for COVID relief. With no interference thus far from Congress, those orders are scheduled to become active September 1.  One of the memoranda we are most frequently asked about is the “payroll tax holiday.” This provision gives employers the option to let employees […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. Updates from the U.S. Department of Treasury and SBA. On June 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) released additional guidance to provide clarity on the recently passed Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA). Here are […]
Read more
On June 5, 2020, the president signed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, into law. This law clarifies terms of the PPP loan, eligibility, and loan forgiveness. Highlights include: Expanded repayment period There is now an expanded, five-year repayment period for the PPP loan for those who did not receive loan forgiveness, an […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. Updates from the SBA and Department of Treasury On May 22, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury released two interim final rules for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). While they clarified parts of the loan forgiveness application, […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. PPP loan forgiveness application and instructions are available On Friday, May 15th, the Treasury and Small Business Administration released an application and instructions for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness, available here. Please note that the SBA has also stated that additional […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. Updated ADA guidelines have been issued in light of COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unique challenges to people from all walks of life. In times such as these, we see people join together to fight for the common good — […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexible guidelines to the requirements related to Form I-9, due to COVID-19.  Employers may obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the documents their employees provide to complete Section 2 of […]
Read more
The Federal Government released an updated I-9 form  On January 31, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security published a new I-9 form for employers to use for all new-hires. Use of the new form will become mandatory on May 1, 2020.  The I-9 form is used to verify identity and employment authorization for people hired […]
Read more
Get your calculators ready — tax season officially starts on January 27, 2020, according to the IRS. We’ll be sending W-2s directly to employee homes for our clients no later than January 31, 2020. Here’s how you can get a headstart on the upcoming tax season.  Get Organized Tax filing can be a tedious task, […]
Read more

Download Our App