"Mobile technology has helped employers squeeze more productivity out of their employees, but all those hours of work while technically off the clock leaves them open to lawsuits over unpaid overtime, experts warn.
Overtime pay is governed by different standards across Canada. In Ontario, for example, it must be paid for any work in excess of 44 hours per week. There are exceptions for managerial roles and those in professions like medicine, the law and accounting, but for the most part, employees are legally entitled to excess pay for excess work.
Legal experts say when an employer gives a smartphone to an employee and then allows them to perform work duties outside the office during regular hours, that's tantamount to asking for overtime to be performed.
"Employers are liable for this unpaid overtime and there's been increasing awareness among employees about how they are being exploited often in these circumstances," labour lawyer Douglas Elliot says.
Elliot is a senior partner with Roy, Elliot & O'Connor law firm in Toronto. He's heading up two huge class-action lawsuits on the issue in Canada. He's helping 5,000 Scotiabank employees claiming $350 million in unpaid overtime work from their employer. And he heads up a similar suit against CIBC on behalf of 31,000 workers suing for $600 million in unpaid work."
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