Employees and Their Smartphones: Is Your Smartphone Overworking You?

In modern American culture most people are hopelessly attached to their smartphones. If that’s not the case, the remaining few (with rare exceptions) can’t deny that they have an extremely close relationship with other technology (i.e. their computer, laptop, tablet, etc.) There are a multitude of benefits that come from living in this technological day and age, but because of smartphones and all the other beloved technology, work is bleeding into employees’ personal time.

The recession put a lot of pressure on employers to get the most of their employees. As a result, American business owners are squeezing their workers and cutting costs at the same time. One way in which many American employers are doing so is by accessing their workers after hours through all of the convenient technology that leaves employees available 24/7. Vacations are often unrecognizable as such due to the fact that contact is never severed with the employer. Many employees find it hard to differentiate between hours worked and hours off due to the easy and frequent access employers avail themselves of freely.

Experts agree that if employers had to bear the actual expense of paying for the overtime hours they are demanding, they would have actively sought a different solution such as hiring more workers during the economic recovery.

In response to the seemingly never ending after hours access provided by technology, employees are asking the courts to find a solution. It’s a changing time as courts attempt to reconcile laws that have been in place for decades with technological trends that have drastically altered the workplace landscape. Never before have employees been so irrevocably connected to their employers without break.

In 2011, there were 7,006 wage-and-hour suits filed (many of them class action suits) in federal court. This was nearly quadruple the total in the year 2000. In 2011, the Labor Department was able to recover $225 million in employee back wages. This was up 28% from the previous year. 300 wage-and-hour investigators were added in 2010 and 2011 alone which resulted in a 40% staff increase (to a total of 1,050). This was done in what was openly declared and effort to protect America’s workers.

Consider the facts and then consider your employer/employee relationship. If you feel that you are stuck in a 24/7 job with 40-hour/week pay, get in touch with the experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today. Don’t let your smartphone take the blame. 

Remember the Raiderettes: Get Appropriate Compensation for Your Work

Employees across the nation should take a page from the Raiderettes this year. When the cheerleaders felt that they weren’t being fairly compensated for their hours, their overtime, business expenses, etc. they didn’t just keep smiling and cheering their team on. They kept smiling, cheering their team on and filed a class action lawsuit against the Raiders.

In addition to above cited failures, the class action lawsuit also claims that the Raiders failed to provide their cheerleaders (The Raiderettes) with appropriate meal/rest breaks. According to court documents, Raiderettes are paid $1,250 per season. When hours worked are taken into consideration, this amounts to less than $5.00/hour. Every Raiderette is required to sign a contract that states they will receive their compensation at the end of the season and that their compensation will be subject to fines.

As a result of the filing of this class action lawsuit, any Raiders cheerleaders from the past four seasons can now come forward seeking damages. In the typical season, the Raiders employ an average of 40 cheerleaders. That means the Raiders’ off-season legal problems are likely to grow. If the court rules in favor of the Raiderettes, any cheerleader on the most recent season’s squad could be awarded lost wages and penalties. Cheerleaders from previous seasons joining the class action lawsuit could be awarded lost wages.

Experts considering details of the case indicate that the subpar treatment of cheerleaders is not limited to the Raiders; it appears other cheerleading squads across the NFL may have similar complaints. They are being encouraged to come forward.

If you find yourself in a situation with less than adequate compensation for job duties expected, unreimbursed expenses incurred as a result of your job, or unpaid overtime - get in touch with the experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today. Class action lawsuits aren’t just for cheerleaders.