Attorney: Some employees can legally sue if not paid OT - FOX Carolina 21

Attorney: Some employees can legally sue if not paid OT

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An Upstate worker texts on his phone. (File/FOX Carolina) An Upstate worker texts on his phone. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Many work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but once employees leave work, the work calls and emails keep coming.

One Chicago man is putting his foot down and he's suing. He claims the emails need to stop after work.

Manager Julie Godshall Brown with Godshall Staffing in Greenville said the need to stay connected can bring about some concern according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Brown said the problem typically comes for non-exempt employees, which means they should get paid overtime for hours worked more than 40 hours a week.

"Plus, they're required to take phone calls or emails to stay connected. That's when it becomes very gray," Brown said. 

It's a gray area Greenville attorney Grant Varner said could pose a problem.   

"Quite often you hear about hourly-waged employees being asked to work 20 minutes here, 45 minutes here and come back from lunch 15 minutes early," Varner said. "The problem is those hours do eventually add up."

Varner said the group most likely to be successful with lawsuits are hourly-wage employees that clock in and clock out.  He said the best thing to do if a worker feels like they are a victim is to document every time they use their cell phone, check email or answer text messages for work to see how much work they are doing off the clock. 

He also recommends workers find an attorney who practice employee and labor law. 

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