When people are expected to clock out after their designated work hours, this employee was told by their boss to keep their work phone on all the time.
A common way to keep your work and personal life separate is not to carry your work home. People are not supposed to take their work phone around all the time, answering their boss whenever they deem it necessary. Even if they do, people expect to get paid for their overtime, but in a strange case narrated by u/FallenPillar, it looks like this poor fellow is trying to follow the absurd orders from the management, which blurs the line between work hours and post-work hours.
The post's title read, "My boss wants me to have my work phone on me at all times - I don't know how to address this." Then they shared a message received from their company. "The message reads, 'Hey team, it's important that your work cell phones go back-and-forth with you to work at home when you leave for lunch, etc. It's important to be able to be reached if the need arises this will be especially true once we implement work-from-home days. Any questions, let me know."
This confusing message left the employee with many questions, as the management wanted everyone to be available at all hours to receive any call from the workplace, even if they were not working at that time. "I don't carry it at work and it won't leave my desk. I'm help desk in a school. I don't travel. I'm not on call. My hours are what they are. And while my employee file says where I live, you're not going to have the potential to pull up my location or anything. Nothing. And you certainly won't reach me at lunch," the person further wrote about their response to this situation.
"My boss and coworkers have my personal number and all their notifications are purposely muted. How do I address this? How do I make sure I'm paid for this time? Because I don't manage or keep track of tech or phones for free off-the-clock work. It's why my work phone stays here on my desk," the post concluded. The Reddit audience sided with the employee who was stuck in a tricky situation and provided a series of solutions and responses in the comment section.
u/FrostedOctopus suggested, "I'd go the surprised and questioning route! Like, 'OMG boss, I had no idea we were on call after hours! At my last job, on-call time was paid at half rate unless you got a call, in which case you got full pay. Is that how it's done here, or do you bill in 60-minute increments? A few of my coworkers were similarly confused, so perhaps a training session would be helpful. Let me know how I can help!' If it is legal, they'll have to explain why/how. This will be enough to show them you're not going to be taken advantage of without being all confrontational about it. Just because something is legal doesn't mean you have to sit passively and accept it."
u/whoinvitedthesepeopl shared, "I had a boss try to pull this. Wanted me available 24-7 for absolutely anything via my personal cell phone. She got mad that I didn't answer her call on a Saturday afternoon. I found out later it was because she decided to work on a Saturday and got an idea. It wasn't anything urgent and our department didn't handle anything time-sensitive or mission-critical." u/distantreplay wrote, "Simply respond to your supervisor by asking them how they wish for you to track and record your on-call duty hours. Do so in writing. If they respond in writing that you are not to track or record your on-call duty hours, then contact your state labor authority."
Hilariously enough, some people suggested the employee wrap their phone in aluminum foil to block out cell signals and turn off their notifications after work hours to dodge the calls of their bosses. According to the USA Government's official website's section of wage laws, employers must pay overtime if the worker is a covered nonexempt employee and work more than 40 hours during a workweek. The overtime rate must be at least 1.5 times the amount of your hourly pay rate.