Five years ago, only a third of employers said they had a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy—now, almost all employers do, according to one expert.
BYOD policies allow staff to use their personal smartphones and tablets to access work email and other accounts. However, employers must make sure that workers are paid for all hours worked, including when working from mobile devices outside of the workplace.
Although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers not to pay for "de minimus" time worked by staff, it is a limited exception for very small amounts of time that are difficult to track. In fact, the exception has been challenged in court, with a ruling for California employers in which the court set aside the FLSA "de minimus" rule and instead held that every minute worked must be tracked and paid for.
The DOL stated in 2015 that it planned to develop rules governing work performed on portable devices. Although it has not yet released these rules, it still pursues mobile device-related wage and hour violations in the meantime. Lisa Nagele-Piazza "Tips for Managing Workers' After-Hours Use of Mobile Devices" shrm.org (Jun. 15, 2018).