Will Need to Pay Overtime Stop Employer Expectations of All-Hours Email?

In an interesting twist on the chatter around President Obama’s proposal to raise the threshold below which an employer needs to pay overtime for more than 40 hours of work, some are predicting an ’email curfew’.

Obama’s proposal basically says that if someone is a salaried employee, you still have to pay them overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week, if their salary is lower than $50,440 (currently the threshold is $23,660).

Replying to work email is ‘work’. In fact, it may well be that the simple act of reading email, or even just accessing the corporate mail server, can be deemed work.


And that has some employers in a tizzy, and some employees – and likely their significant others – hopeful.

Because, of course, with the advent of ubiquitous smartphones and business over email, lots and lots of employees check their work email up through bedtime, and even beyond.

Read Internet Patrol Articles Right in Your Inbox as Soon as They are Published! Only $1 a Month!
Imagine being able to read full articles right in your email, or on your phone, without ever having to click through to the website unless you want to! Just $1 a month and you can cancel at any time!
Or get notified of new Internet Patrol articles for free!

In an interview with NPR, for example, the head of HR at Pomona College explained that they have adopted a policy that limits the hours during which employees can access email.

“They are instructed to not download email to their personal devices. And they are not supposed to be on email after hours,” she said, explaining that it was specifically in an effort to reduce overtime, adding that “Because here in California, even if you read the email — doesn’t mean you have to respond to it — now you’re working.”


So how about you? Would being forbidden from accessing and responding to work email after hours be a boon or a problem for you?

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money.That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something help keep the Internet Patrol free?Thank you!

Get notified of new Internet Patrol articles!
Will Need to Pay Overtime Stop Employer Expectations of All-Hours Email?
Article Name
Will Need to Pay Overtime Stop Employer Expectations of All-Hours Email?
Obama's proposal to raise the overtime threshold may lead to an 'email curfew' with some employers, barring employees from accessing work email after hours.

One Reply to “Will Need to Pay Overtime Stop Employer Expectations of All-Hours Email?”

  1. Not I being in my own work-at-home business, but I would imagine this could cause some people to enable auto/automated email responses to inform clients to contact during certain work hrs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *