Having a mobile phone is a modern necessity. Your friends and family likely assume that they can get a hold of you at any moment thanks to mobile technology. You may derive a lot of personal benefits from having constant access to a powerful telecommunication device.
Unfortunately, employers have started to feel entitled to 24/7 access to their workers as well. You may have a set schedule at work and likely rely on your time off in the evenings and over the weekend to recharge physically and mentally. However, your supervisor or the weekend staff at your company might feel like they can reach out to you and disturb you are not at work.
Is it legal for your employer to essentially demand that you remain available and do work whenever they reach out to you during your time off from the job?
The law does not prohibit employer communication
Currently, neither California state law nor federal employment laws explicitly prohibit employers from contacting employees on the weekends or other time off. Additionally, it is not necessarily illegal for an employer to ask workers to do work when they are not scheduled to be on the job.
Still, in many cases, workers may have a right to wages and possibly overtime pay when they take employer calls, respond to emails and otherwise help handle business operations during their time off from work. Especially if you receive hourly compensation or a low salary, your employer may need to pay you for your time if they habitually expect you to perform job responsibilities and communicate with the company when you are not at work.
Company policy does not supersede employee rights
Some businesses save a lot of money by expecting their workers to perform job responsibilities while not on the clock and receiving compensation. The more frequently your employer engages in such activity, the more likely it is that you have grounds for a wage claim.
While you can’t necessarily stop your employer from infringing on your evenings or weekends, you do have a right to expect compensation for the job responsibilities performed during those times. Pursuing a wage claim against your employer can compensate you for the work you have already done and potentially convince the company to change its practices.