In Focus: When E-Mails and Texts Are Prohibited ‘Off-the-Clock’

By Allen Smith Nov 3, 2015

Should Workers Be Compensated for Answering E-Mails and Texts When Off-the-Clock?

Federal labor regulators may revise a standard governing what amount of time should be considered too insignificant to compensate outside scheduled work hours. The standard will apply to nonexempt employees answering e-mails, texts and calls when they are off the clock.
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

DOL Considering Rule on Portable Devices

The Wage and Hour Division announced in its spring regulatory agenda that it is developing a request for information on the use of technology, including portable electronic devices, by employees away from work and outside of scheduled work hours.

Proposed Overtime Rule May Have Been Impetus for Revision of Standard

The revision of the standard on employees’ use of portable technology away from work may have been in anticipation of the spike in the number of nonexempt employees that will result from the proposed increase in salary for exempt employees.

(National Law Review)

E-Mail Curfew May Help Newly Nonexempt Employees Adjust

E-mail curfews can help newly nonexempt employees understand the types of work that now are off-limits after work hours, even though they were permitted in the past.


To-Do List in Response to Proposed Overtime Rule

A new policy on who may e-mail, text or call after hours is just one of many steps employers need to take in response to the proposed overtime rule.


Allen Smith, J.D., is the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. Follow him @SHRMlegaleditor.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


The SHRM Member Discounts program provides member-only access to discounts on products and services you can apply to your life and career, and share with your company.



Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect