Mandatory Zoom meetings, phone calls and texts outside work hours? If that’s what your pandemic-era work schedule looks like, your employer may owe you money. Here’s what you need to know about mandatory meetings after work hours, constant emails and texts, and phone calls as they related to your pay.
Mandatory Meetings Outside Normal Work Hours
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, employers are required to compensate you for time you spend performing your job. But what happens when work-from-home starts to mean work-at-all-hours? You should always direct these questions to your employer:
- Is attendance mandatory?
- If I attend the meeting, will I be paid?
- If I’m not paid for it, why do I have to attend?
The bottom line is that FLSA requires employers to pay workers if their attendance is mandatory and the meeting serves to benefit the employer. For example, if you have to attend a Zoom meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss a work-related project, that’s compensable time – it’s time that your employer must pay you for. On the other side of the coin, if your employer is holding an awards ceremony online and your participation is voluntary, your employer does not have to pay you for attending.
Related: FLSA regulations on pay
Mandatory Meetings for Non-Salaried Employees
Employers must pay non-salaried employees for the time they spend in mandatory meetings. It counts toward your overtime, as well, so if a meeting puts you over 40 hours per week (or over 8 or 12 hours in a day), your wages are subject to the federal government’s and California’s overtime laws.
Related: California overtime laws for hourly workers
Mandatory Meetings for Salaried Employees
Salaried employees are generally not entitled to compensation for attending mandatory meetings – and that may be true even if the meetings are scheduled after-hours or on days off. If you’re not sure whether this applies to you, you should consult with a Los Angeles labor attorney for help.
Related: What rights do employees have in California?
Frequently Asked Questions About Mandatory Meetings
Check out these frequently asked questions about mandatory meetings. If you don’t see your question answered here, feel free to call us at 818-230-8380 to ask.
- Can I refuse to go to a mandatory Zoom meeting?
- Should I be paid for mandatory training?
- Can I get fired for not going to a mandatory meeting?
Here’s a closer look at each.
#1. Can I refuse to go to a mandatory meeting?
You can refuse to go to a mandatory meeting – but you may face employment consequences as a result. You could get a negative performance review, you won’t be paid for that time, and you could even be fired for not attending a mandatory meeting.
#2. Should I be paid for mandatory training?
If your employer requires you to participate in training as part of your job, it must pay you for that time unless all four of these conditions are present:
- Attendance is outside regular working hours
- Attendance is voluntary
- It is not related to your job
- You don’t perform any productive work while you’re training
The key here is required. If you’re a non-salaried employee and your employer requires you to train for your job, it generally must pay you for that time.
#3. Can I get fired for not going to a mandatory meeting?
You can be fired for not going to a mandatory meeting. It’s up to your employer what type of action to take if you don’t show up – but being fired is a definite possibility.
Related: Is working off the clock illegal in California?
What About Phone Calls and Texts After Hours?
If your employer requires you to work, it must compensate you fairly. That means if you’re answering the phone at all hours, receiving and responding to text messages, or dealing with work emails outside of regular working hours – and if those things are essential parts of performing your job, your employer is supposed to pay you for the time you spend on them.
Do You Need to Talk to an LA Labor Lawyer About Zoom Meetings, Phone Calls, Emails and Texts After Work Hours?
If you believe your employer has not compensated you for time you’ve worked, we may be able to help you. Call us at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles and Glendale labor lawyer who can answer your questions and help you get the compensation you deserve.