Can your employer call your cell phone during lunch and after hours?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can your employer call your cell phone during lunch and after hours?

I have asked my employer not to call me while I am on my lunch time. He gets a notification when I clock in and out but for some reason he still does. Also, I get text messages from our clients and I would not like to get messages on my personal phone for work.I pay for it and not my employer. Is there something I can do about it?

Asked on August 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, there isn't. If you end up spending more than a very few minutes on the phone for work during lunch or after hours, that time is work time and you should be paid for it. (The law doesn't require "de minimis" time to be tracked and paid, so a quick check in or answering a fast question doesn't count). However, subject to the obligation to pay for work you do (assuming you are hourly; if salaried, your weekly salary is your total compensation for all work you do and they don't owe you anything more), the employer has the right to call you whenever they want and can require you to give out your cell number and take client calls or texts on your personal phone. The employer sets work hours, tells you when to work, and sets the rules for work, even ones that intrude on employee free time or privacy.

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