Flexible Schedule vs Unpaid Overtime: There’s a Blurred Line You Should Be Aware Of
On behalf of Rager Law Firm posted on November 10, 2017
It’s time to talk about your work schedule. Do you think you have a flexible schedule? Well, what if it’s unpaid overtime? Where’s that fine line to distinguish between the two?
Whether you work in Pasadena or Los Angeles, you’d most likely want your work schedule to be more flexible, allowing you to see your kid’s football game without getting penalized for it or being able to finish a task later at home (because you’re more likely to feel burned out at the office than at home).
But if you choose to finish a task at home, does it count as overtime? You may not realize it, but you most likely have plenty of flexibility in your work schedule (particularly if you’re a white-collar worker or the so-called ‘knowledge worker’).
Think about it: our internet-equipped devices (phones, iPads and laptops) have allowed us to perform our tasks at home. In fact, you may have even caught yourself checking your working email and responding to work-related stuff during your off hours.
Or have you ever finished a project at home over the weekend just because we were inspired to do so or simply felt like doing it? Does it mean you have a flexible schedule or are simply working unpaid overtime hours?
Flexible Schedule vs Unpaid Overtime: What’s your work schedule?
Depending on the contract you signed and the terms you agreed to with your employer, you may already have a flexible schedule. Thus, you may not realize that you can be late at work or leave the office earlier without being penalized for it.
But every case is different and each state has unique laws, which is why it’s advised to consult an employment attorney in your area (whether you work in Pasadena or Los Angeles).
Here at the Rager Offices Law, our employment attorneys provide Pasadena and Los Angeles workers with a free initial consultation and a course of action to avoid being penalized at work, negotiating fair terms of work schedule and ensuring that your rights are not violated and you aren’t working unpaid overtime hours.
Flexible work schedule: How many companies actually offer it?
A 2013 study by WorldAtWork found that over 80 percent of companies in the U.S. offer flexible work options. And only 3 percent of companies actually terminated flexible work options in the past two years (2011-2013).
Fast forward four years later, it’s safe to say that even a larger percentage of companies offer flexible work options due to the improved cutting-edge devices that offer high-speed internet connection and the booming of tech companies and other companies that largely rely on operations performed by employees at computers.
The study also found that the vast majority of companies had wrong assumptions about what those “flexible work options” mean, and oftentimes even illegal (meaning: forcing their employees to work unpaid overtime hours at home).
Another study by Stanford University found that employees who work from home have a 13 percent increase in performance, and a much higher level of ratification. Not to mention that they were 50% less likely to quit than their 9-to-5 counterparts.
That means both the employee that works flexible hours and his employer have clear advantages in flexible work options. This means you have a right to negotiate more efficient terms of work schedule and get compensated for any unpaid overtime hours you work at home.
Consult our employment attorney in Pasadena at the Rager Offices Law to learn your employment rights and find out if you’re working unpaid overtime hours (and how to get compensated for them).