Wage and Hour Compliance Challenges From the Increased Use of Technology in the Workplace

Minimizing Risks Involving "Hidden Work," On-Call Scheduling, Meal Breaks, Defining "Work," "Continuous Workday Rule", and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, June 1, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will examine the myriad ways in which the increased use of technology in the workplace by employers and employees has heightened employers’ risks of violating wage and hour laws, particularly as it relates to non-exempt employees. The panel will outline practical strategies for employers to reduce legal exposure.


The growing use of technology in the workforce has increased employers’ risk of wage and hour noncompliance. Many of these risks relate to non-exempt employees who are eligible for minimum wage and overtime, but technology has also made wage and hour compliance more challenging as it relates to exempt employees.

The core issue in most disputes involving the intersection of technology and wage and hour law is defining whether technology-related activity, such as responding to work emails, constitutes “work.” Many courts have ruled that responding to emails fits the definition of work; however, the activity may or may not be compensable work time under the “de minimis rule.”

Areas in which technology can result in unforeseen wage and hour liability exposure include the performance of “hidden work” that the employer knew or should have known about; the use of digital technology and sophisticated scheduling software to create “on-call” and “call-in” scheduling systems; automatic meal deduction systems; the replacement of the exercise of “discretion and independent judgment” by computers for FLSA exempt administrative employees; and more.

Employers should take proactive steps to reduce liability exposure for technology-driven risks, including requiring employees to record all hours worked, wherever they are performed; prohibiting non-exempt employees from performing work outside of the office; providing smartphones to exempt employees only, and/or configuring computer systems to prohibit out-of-office access by non-exempt employees.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment counsel discusses new and evolving wage and hour compliance risks triggered by the increased use of technology in the workplace and best practices to manage these risks.


  1. What is “work”
  2. The “de minimis” rule
  3. The “continuous workday rule”
  4. Hidden “work”
  5. On-call time and on-call shifts
  6. Rounding
  7. Meal break claims and automatic meal break deductions
  8. Technology and the administrative exemption
  9. Failure to reimburse employees for expenses related to using technology for work
  10. Reducing exposure to wage and hour risks resulting from use of technology


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What novel wage and hour compliance issues are employment attorneys facing with the growing use of technology in the workplace?
  • How are courts ruling in wage and hour cases involving technology-related disputes?
  • What are some best practices for employers to reduce their wage and hour liability exposure for technology-related work activities?


Justin R. Barnes, Principal
Jackson Lewis, Atlanta

Mr. Barnes’ practice is focused primarily on defending complex wage and hour class and collective actions in state and federal courts across the country. He represents employers on a variety of labor and employment related issues, including labor arbitrations, allegations of discrimination, and employment-related contract disputes. Mr. Barnes frequently speaks on a variety of workplace related issues, including wage and hour compliance, electronic discovery, and social media.

Eric R. Magnus, Principal
Jackson Lewis, Atlanta

Mr. Magnus’ practice is focused on defending federal and state wage and hour class and collective actions in jurisdictions across the U.S. He focuses primarily on “donning and doffing,” “off-the-clock,” tip credit and misclassification cases. Mr. Magnus has obtained summary judgment and obtained several favorable settlements in a number of “off the clock” class actions across the country. 


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