Contacting Employees After Work Hours « ePractice Manager | Systems for next-level growth

Contacting Employees After Work Hours

By ePractice Manager
January 29, 2024

Quick Tip! 

As a practice manager, there may be times where you find yourself needing to reach out to an employee to ask a work-related question during their off-hours. Most often, it can be a quick call or text, but at what point are these communications considered overtime?

It may seem like nothing to give your employee a quick after-hours call to ask a question, or even shoot them a short text, however, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.) employers are required to pay non-exempt employees for all overtime hours worked – including any overtime spent emailing, texting, or on the phone.

 Please note, salaried employees do not have to log their time, so speaking with these employees outside of work hours is not considered a labor violation.

Your office may have a policy in place that prohibits employees from working overtime, but when the employer (or a manager working on behalf of the employer) reaches out directly with work related communication, it is automatically considered employer-approved work.

The above does not prohibit you from ever contacting an hourly employee outside of work hours, only that the messages sent cannot require immediate action. For example, you can text your employees to let them know of a change to the schedule. But, reaching out to an employee and asking for a report related to work would be considered additional after-hours work.

A quick, after-hours communication sent to an employee is not going to be an issue if it’s an emergency. But it is important to ensure that you are not making a habit of it.

Here at ePractice Manager, we understand that running a practice is stressful, which is why we offer a full suite of onboarding, training, and management resources—to help you focus on what matters most, patient care.