Social Media: Facebook Time = Overtime?

February 28, 2011

Who manages your day-to-day social media communications and marketing? The answer is important, because tasks assigned to non-exempt employees could result in overtime pay liability. To avoid that possibility, employers need to develop and enforce specific guidelines for when this work is supposed to be performed, says Marc Mayo, a Shareholder with the Rogers Towers law firm in Jacksonville and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.

“The hours that non-exempt employees spend performing social media functions in the evening ‘after work’ are still compensable hours worked under the federal wage-hour law and can result in unexpected overtime liability,” said Mayo. “They may begin monitoring or responding to social media after dinner by thinking they are doing this on their own time to catch up on their work, but when it starts taking up more of their time or they are terminated, they may take a different view and contact the Wage-Hour Division or a lawyer to collect unpaid overtime pay for hours worked ‘off the clock,’” Mayo explains.

Of course, an obvious way to avoid the issue altogether is to outsource certain implementation and monitoring tasks.

Another aspect of social media to consider is your employees’ personal use of them during work. It’s important for your company handbook to include a social media policy that clearly states what employees can and cannot do at work with media such as Facebook and Twitter. An article advises that including a statement in your handbook to raise awareness among employees that their confidentiality agreement also covers social media interaction may suffice, but advises having a separate policy to be sure you’re covered. Read the entire article here.






Jan Hirabayashi founded BroadBased in 1996 and is the company's CEO and lead marketing strategist.