During this COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are performing their jobs from home instead of from an office or another workplace. Even though the work is being performed at home, the law has not changed: employers still must compensate non-exempt employees for all the hours they work, including overtime.
Many states have state-specific laws that cover employee compensation. The main federal law – the Fair Labor Standards Act – covers overtime and minimum wage. Many of these state and federal laws apply even if an employee is working from home. That means that time spent on email at home may be compensable. Time spent on phone calls may be compensable. Time spent on video conferences, like Zoom, may be compensable. And if these hours take an employee over forty in a particular workweek, then the employer must pay overtime compensation.
If you are working from home, make sure that you are keeping track of your time. That sometimes includes keeping your own record of the time worked. Also make sure that your employer knows that you are performing the work. The time you work should be included on your timesheet and you should make sure that your employer is paying you for it. While an employer can instruct you to not work overtime, typically it still must pay you for overtime you work if it knows of your work and does not take any actions to stop you from doing so.
If you question whether your employer has paid you for all the time you worked or if it has paid you correctly, feel free to reach out to the wage and hour attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC. We provide consultations at no cost, and if there is a case to pursue, we do not charge our clients an attorneys' fee since we recover our attorneys' fees from the employer when we succeed.