When employees work in positions that are not in a conventional office setting, there may be some discrepancies in what are considered working hours. These discrepancies can cause serious issue if workers are not being properly compensated for their time. If hours that could be considered overtime go unpaid, employees may wish to seek action in order to have the matter settled and potentially receive back pay.
A class-action suit is currently being discussed that involves General Electric, or GE, employees in several states including Florida. The employees in question are service technicians that travel to customers' homes in order to repair GE appliances. The issue concerning hours worked comes up because workers are not considered on the clock until they arrive at their first repair location. However, many employees may have already been working before they reach their destination.
As their work clock does not start until they are at the destination, there could be several hours a week that could be considered overtime that employees are not being compensated for. The issue is considered to have come about due to the workers being issued laptops that they must use to check and send emails that apparently add considerable time to their morning tasks of setting up repair routes and ensuring that they have the proper equipment needed to complete their repairs. Because they must complete the work-related tasks before their morning commute begins, they believe they should be compensated for time spent on those duties.
Compensation for overtime can make a considerable difference in the amount of income that a technician receives. If work-related activities are required to be carried out, those workers should receive pay for ensuring that their tasks are completed. If the legal situation rules in favor of the employees, Florida workers who have been affected by the situation may be entitled to reparations for unpaid hours worked.
Source: philly.com, GE service techs in lawsuit over wages, Jane M. Von Bergen, Jan. 29, 2014