As businesses integrate more and more technology in the workplace, the old notion of an office is rapidly changing. Now, many people routinely work from home or are free to work on-call as needed. While this is great for employee flexibility and morale, it does present unique challenges for an employer, as pop singer Lady Gaga is quickly finding out. She has been sued by her personal assistant in New York for unpaid overtime. For St. Louis employment law attorneys, many similar cases are beginning to pop up, even if this case is somewhat unique.
St. Louis Employment Law Attorneys on When to Pay Overtime
At the heart of the suit against Lady Gaga (real name: Stefani Germanotta) is whether her assistant deserved overtime for being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Ms. Germanotta does not contend that her assistant had atypical working hours, but she does contend that the assistant was free to pursue other activities in her free time. The assistant contends that she was required to have a phone on her at all times and immediately drop whatever she was doing if called by Ms. Germanotta. She also contends that she was required to sleep in the same bed as Ms. Germanotta in order to attend to her at night.
As St. Louis employment law attorneys, it is important for employers to understand when they may have to pay overtime, even to salaried employees, if they work additional hours. A person is eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act if they:
- Get paid more than $455 per week
- Performed, as her primary duty, office or managerial work directly related to the business operations or management of the business
- Exercised discretion and independent judgment on matters of significance
If you have employees who fit that criteria, it is a good idea to speak with St. Louis employment law attorneys to figure out ways to prevent employees from collecting extreme amounts of overtime. The lawyers at McMahon Berger can help a business integrate technology and working remotely while staying within budget and within the law.