Is an employer obligated to pay hourly employees for after hours work-related calls?

My boyfriend worked for a small company burying telephone lines. He kept in contact with his boss throughout the day regarding issues that could come up during work. Despite this, his boss would constantly call him after hours with questions about jobs they had done that day. He would sometimes even call fairly late at night, hours after he had clocked out for the day, and did so multiple days a week. This caused much stress at home when he was supposed to be off work and enjoying his time at home with his family. Should he have been paid for this time spent answering long telephone calls and text messages from his hostile boss after business hours?

Asked on May 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since your boyfriend is an hourly employee, he must be paid for all hours worked whether onsite or offsite and whether during normal work hours or after. Therefore, if he spends, say, even just 20 or so minutes on the phone with his employer at night, he should be paid for another 1/3 of an hour (and this time would also count towards overtime).

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