What should I be compensated for if take part in 8-hour conference calls during non-standard working hours?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What should I be compensated for if take part in 8-hour conference calls during non-standard working hours?

I am an exempt U.S. employee and often asked to join 8-hour conference calls that take place during European working hours. I’m then expected to work the rest of my normal working hours. In some situations, I’m traveling abroad and the inverse will occur. Case in point, I recently was in Germany, worked a full day, was asked to join an 8-hour conference call that continued well into the late hours of the evening. I was not able to leave the office, because my hotel accommodations don’t offer good enough internet connectivity to do the meeting. Not being able

to leave the office also meant that I was essentially locked in because I was a guest and didn’t have a door key that would allow me to leave the office space to use the common restroom facilities in the building. Is these even legal? Can an employer really get away with this?

Asked on February 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If you are an exempt salaried employee, you are not entitled to any additional pay or other compensaton for working during non-standard hours. As an exempt salaried employee, your weekly salary is the entire or total compensation you get for all hours, no matter where or when, you work during a week.
2) An employer may require you to be available for and attend a conference call. That you were effectively restricted to the office is not the employer's fault: you could have made sure in advance you were staying a hotel with adequate connectivity, gone to an internet cafe or the like, etc.

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