Does answering a phone call or checking email on your work issued BlackBerry phone away from work, count as working overtime? A federal lawsuit filed in Chicago is claiming that it is and it is cause for compensation.
Chicago police officer, Sgt. Jeffery Allen says that he and his fellow officers are owed compensation for using their work issued BlackBerry phones away from work hours.
According to the lawsuit filed in 2010, Sgt. Allen claimed that his bosses in the organized crime bureau pressured officers to answer work away from their working hours but not to report the work after hours as overtime. The city counters that written policy is that officers should ask for overtime in writing. A US magistrate ruled that the lawsuit filed had merit enough to continue.
So, what do you think? Does a work issued phone constitute overtime off work hours? Do you think the police officers have a legitimate argument? Or does it fall under the auspice of being tool of your everyday job that you’re paid to do? I'm sort of split on this. I can see the officer's side but being public servants, I can see the city's argument as well.
Let us know in the comments below and discuss in the forums.