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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy
Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Do you have to take work calls at home?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Wage & Hour Laws |

You’re an hourly worker, and you are paid for any time you spend on your work. As such, it started to surprise you when you’d get calls from colleagues asking questions about work or from clients asking to go through a consultation at home.

Technically, you’re not on the clock when you’re at home, and it is difficult to track your hours there. You’ve never been asked to turn in hours spent working at home, even though it’s becoming more common for people to contact you after leaving the office.

What should you do?

It’s not legal to avoid paying people who work at home

Any time you work at home, it is important that you’re paid for what you do. If you are not supposed to be called at home, you should tell the caller that you’ll return their phone call during your normal business hours. You may also set up a voicemail to say the same and send unknown callers to it.

It may be worth sitting down with your employer to talk about the uptick in calls when you’re not at work. While a rare call to ask you to cover a shift might not be a big deal, it is a problem if you start having people calling you for hours on end after your shift has concluded. Other changes may need to be made during the workday to be sure that you get asked questions while you’re there instead of at home.

Alternatively, your employer may not realize how much you’re being contacted at home and be willing to pay you for the extra time that you’re working. In that case, you should keep track of the phone calls you receive and any work you do at home and submit those hours to your employer daily or weekly.

If your employer doesn’t want to pay you for the time you’re spending working at home, then you need to take action. You may be able to pursue a claim against them for unfair wage practices and seek compensation for the time you’ve spent on your job at home.