Overtime Pay for Use of Cell Phone?


A group of Chicago Police are suing for overtime pay since the City allegedly expected the officers “to be available twenty-four [hours] per day via Blackberry.” In their lawsuit the officers “felt obligated to respond to these email communications and telephone call while off duty.”

Huffingtonpost reported that the officers claimed:

...police brass pressured subordinates in the department’s organized crime bureau to answer work-related calls and emails on their BlackBerrys, and then also dissuaded the officers from filing for overtime.

On January 14, 2013 US Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier issued an Order that included his opinion that the officers’ Blackberry “responses might constitute work.”

This lawsuit may help clear up employee use of employer issued devices and establish some legal boundaries between work and personal content that may apply to employee owned devices (e.g., BYOD). 

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