Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

How about getting paid for the time you work on your smartphone?

A chicago cop is suing for overtime for the amount of time he spends on his smartphone.

Original story here.

This does raise some interesting questions for hourly employees. For salaried employees, this is a bit different.

In most cases, I would think that hourly workers should be compensated for their time. If they are expected to answer emails and perform other online tasks with their phone then they should be paid accordingly. This is something that will have to settle out over time.

Salaried employees are not paid by the hour but rather on the basis of doing a job. My experience in the salaried world is that many employers abuse this arrangement by using salaried employees to perform tasks that should be performed by hourly employess in an attempt to cut costs.

If you are entering into a salaried job, then you should pay attention to the terms of your contract. It might be a deal breaker that prevents you from getting an offer if you raise the question about company expectations regarding your availability to work via your smartphone. On the other hand, you could find yourself accepting a position where you end up with no free time due to being shackled to your phone.

The bottom line though is that given the state of the economy and the unemployment rates, we will probably see a lot more of this encroachment in the future. With a weak economy, employees will have less control over additional requirements imposed by employers
I am spending an increasing amount of time on my personal watercraft. During the time I’m out riding, I am not available via my smartphone. In fact I don’t take my smartphone but rather I take a cheaper phone for emergency use only.

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