Now that I’m working from home, can I still claim overtime?


I’m a nonexempt employee working from home. I’m grateful to have a job, but my boss seems to think I should be on call 24/7. How should I be paid for this? Am I eligible for overtime?

We are experiencing a great reset in the way many companies conduct business operations. I know many people who thought working from home would be a luxury now can’t wait to get back to an office (which may have as much to do with family relationships as anything else). Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must generally pay hourly employees for time worked. Employers are still required to track working hours, and if you work in excess of your normal schedule, you should be paid for the extra hours. Overtime rates are based on factors like your employer’s policy, the type of work you do and the hours worked, within FLSA and state laws. Whether your on-call time is compensable will depend on the frequency of calls, demands that calls be answered immediately, whether it is expected that you continuously monitor work requests, and whether you may engage in nonwork activities. Consult with your human resources department and visit (New York State Department of Labor) and (US Department of Labor).

I conduct video meetings with my staff and I see them looking like they just rolled out of bed, pets in their laps, kids screaming and spouses in the shot. Am I wrong for requiring my teams to behave professionally?

Wait, have you been hacking into my video meetings? I think there is a line that can be crossed, but that bar should be set super low right now. I don’t think employees should look like they just rolled out of bed, but anything between bed head and coiffed is acceptable. Most people will look ridiculous at this time wearing normal business attire. Better-than-a-bathrobe up to business casual at most is acceptable. As for kids, spouses and pets, whether any or all should be kept on a leash depends on your meeting, company culture, and how disruptive or cute they are. But this is the time to chillax some standards, boss man.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work.


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