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hrpro37, Sr. Director, Human Resources
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 119
Experience:  10+ years of experience in human resources roles with a specialization in employment law
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A discussion with managers in my office in regard to hourly

Customer Question

A discussion with managers in my office in regard to hourly supervisors and contacting them via email and phone on their off hours. The consensus is that as long as there in no expectation that they answer or no disciplinary action that would be taken if they do not respond that this wouldn't be considered in time that the supervisor would have to be paid.
Please share your advice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  hrpro37 replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon,

Thanks for using JustAnswer. For hourly employees, it is fine to send them emails off-hours as long as there is no expectation to reply but I would be careful with phone calls. If the employee answers the phone and has a work-related conversation, they can claim that they should be paid for that.

Feel free to ask follow up questions if you need to.

Thank you,

Amber (Please don't forget to rate me!)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if they do reply and it is work related?
Expert:  hrpro37 replied 1 year ago.

If they reply to the email, you would be obligated to pay them (for however long it took to write that email) or however long a phone call is if they answer the phone. If you plan on emails going through to Supervisors on off hours that they don't need to reply to right away, I would just make it known to hourly employees that they are not allowed to respond to emails/phone calls during off-hours.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok - we were wondering how the DOL would view this. Thank you.
Expert:  hrpro37 replied 1 year ago.

Your welcome,

The department of labor would only be notified if an employee filed a complaint. If that occurred, the DOL would end up telling the organization that they do in fact have to pay hourly employees for all time worked, even if it is just a phone call taken during off-hours. You can protect yourself by having a policy preventing hourly staff from working during off-hours and if they do they would be subject to disciplinary action.