Do you own a smart phone? What about a home computer or laptop? Do you ever find that your work day doesn’t end after you clock out at the office or leave for the day? Are you required by your employer to check your email after hours for work-related issues? Do you check work emails after hours even when you’re not required to do so by your employer? Do you ever get calls from your boss or supervisor after the work day has ended? Ever thought you should be compensated for this work outside of the office?
These issues are at the center of a new federal lawsuit filed by Chicago police officers claiming that the city owes them overtime compensation for work performed on their Blackberry phones. According to the police officers, they were pressured, and in some cases required, to answer work-related calls and emails on their Blackberrys before and after their shifts. Yet, despite answering the calls and emails during non-working hours, the police department dissuaded the officers from filing for overtime for that extra work.
While no decision has been rendered by the federal district court as to the factual merits of the case, the police officers scored at least one victory already when the Magistrate Judge ruled that the case had sufficient legal basis not to be dismissed.
Now with the case proceeding forward, counsel for the officers expects that up to 200 more officers will likely join the collective action suit as plaintiffs. The end result, should the Court rule in the officers’ favor, would mean that the city would be forced to pay back pay in the form of overtime compensation to every single officer that is part of the suit, a total estimated by some to be in the millions of dollars.
If an employee believes that they are performing any type of work which he or she is not being compensated for or not being paid overtime for, the employee should contact an employment attorney who can explain the necessary wage and hour laws that may offer the employee remedies for their unpaid labor.
If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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