Is it legal to be required to take conference calls for work at home on your phone and not be paid?

My wife is a non salary, hourley paid employee as a teller at a bank. She has been told she must take a weekly conference call at home on her phone without being paid for her time or phone minutes. I dont see how this is legal or right.

2 answers  |  asked Jan 18, 2011 08:35 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Doris Dabrowski
If the employer is required to pay an hourly wage for all time worked, the bank teller may have a claim for underpaid wages and expenses, if the employment agreement requires reimbursement of expenses. Employment agreements may be oral or written. She should maintain detailed records of the date, time and duration of the calls. Under the Pa. Wage Payment and Collection Law, she may obtain damages, court costs and attorney's fees if she files suit to recover underpaid wages. I agree with Mr. Ezold's comment about overtime premiums if she works more than 40 hours/week. If she wishes a consultation about the particular facts in her situation, she may contact me. Doris Dabrowski, 1525 Locust St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102, 215-790-1115.

posted by Doris Dabrowski  |  Jan 18, 2011 12:14 PM [EST]
Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, if an employer is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), overtime must be paid to all employees who are not exempt from the FLSA's requirements. Banks are generally required to comply with the FLSA. Tellers are generally not exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements. Therefore, unless your wife was performing significant executive or administrative duties under the terms of the FLSA, she is due overtime pay for every hour worked over 40 hours per week.

It is unlikely that your wife was performing exempt executive duties, and also unlikely, based on the job descriptions of most bank tellers, that she was performing exempt administrative duties. These tests are very fact-specific, however, so I cannot answer the question with any accuracy here. I can tell you that several class, collective and individual actions have been filed this year against banks for requiring tellers to work over 40 hours per week.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Jan 18, 2011 09:01 AM [EST]

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