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I am a non exempt employee and recently my supervisor told…

I am a non...

I am a non exempt employee and recently my supervisor told me that going forward he would be posting work information such as schedule on group meet text messages. Any employee not participating end not responding on these message would be terminated. The participation is during work and non-work hours. Is this a violation of employees rights, especially non-exempt employees?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Georgia

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet. Since I have not provided my personal cell phone number as of close of business today I may be looking at termination on Monday morning.

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Answered in 22 minutes by:
1/20/2018
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,933
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today. Please note that the website may ask you if you desire premium services, such as a phone call. I do not control these prompts, and you are not under any obligation to order premium services to get a full answer from me. If you do desire premium services, however, feel free to select that option. I will have an answer for you shortly, unless I require additional information. Please be patient while I may have to research some matters before providing a response. In the meantime you should save the url link or bookmark this webpage in case you become disconnected and need to return to this page at a later time.

I'll need to ask you some preliminary questions before I can give you an answer to your question. Are you in a union or do you otherwise have a contract for "just cause" (as opposed to “at will" employment which is the default employment condition)? Do you think the manager who is doing this has an ulterior motive in setting up this practice, perhaps your age, race, gender, disability or religious beliefs?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, not in a Union. "At will" employment. I do not think it is an ulterior motive; however, now that you mentioned it there is a possibility that it may impact some of the older employees.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
While I do not think is related to age, race, gender, disability or religious beliefs, I am concern that as an non exempt employee that the time spent of the group meet could result in several hours outside of the required 40 hour work week and no compensation will be provided for the additional hours.

If it's a policy that is evenly applied to everyone, you cannot claim discrimination. The policy is strange and doesn't make sense but you are at will - meaning you can be disciplined or terminated for any reason that is not otherwise a violation of law. These exceptions are the civil rights protections (e.g., age, race, sex, religion), violations of public policy (e.g., fired for attending jury duty, for refusing to break the law, for reporting illegal activity by the employer (aka a "whistleblower violation"), or having some contractual right to a just cause employment (meaning the employer cannot terminate you without industrial due process - which basically ensures a fair and accurate investigation and decision). Without any of these exceptions, courts find that the employer has a legitimate business right to operate its business however it sees fit and the court will not second-guess the employer. These policies and decisions may in fact be awful and clearly not fair or even make good business sense. However, they are not ultimately unlawful.

There's no law against mandating use of various technologies in or outside of work. So, there's no such claim you could make against this policy. If the time you spend on it is substantial i.e., in greater than 15 minute time spans, then it is compensable under the wage laws.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers (even though the website already charged you, it does not credit me with the answer unless and until you indicate you are satisfied with the answer). If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.

John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,933
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Again, my concern was more along the line of non-exempt employees being required to participate in text messaging during non-work times that equal more that 15 minutes but not being paid overtime. Yes, Georgia is an "at will" State so yes, they can basically terminate a person without a cause.

I see. Yes, the time spent "scheduling" so to speak is defined as work under the wage laws and would be compensable. If they refused to pay for that time you could bring a wage claim. Hope this helps. Thanks.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks for pointing out the age issue. Perhaps the 5-6 employees that are 50 or older should speak with a local lawyer to discuss further.
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