Will American willingness to work long hours stymie compliance with OT rule?

Dive Brief:

  • In Europe, some employers are putting restrictions on working outside normal business hours as a way to balance work and personal time. According to a new study, that might not make any difference in the American workplace.
  • The “Obsessed with Overtime: Prepping for FLSA’s New OT Rule” survey, commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, found that working outside typical office hours is so much a part of U.S. culture that a large majority of full-time salaried white collar employees in the U.S. would work off-the-clock even if their employer had a policy against it.
  • The key finding of the survey is that 81% of U.S. salaried employees say they work outside their standard work hours – and it occurs much more often than once weekly.

Dive Insight:

The Workforce Institute at Kronos survey, designed to examine potential unintended consequences of the recently released Labor Dept. overtime rule, also sought to see if white collar employers are ready to track time and attendance. 

The survey found two prime reasons why Americans are working so long: One is having too much work to do (40%), while the other (37%) is needing to meet an urgent deadline.

As far as employers being ready for the overtime changes, which take effect Dec. 1, the survey found that 39% of employees currently are not required to track and report their time today. And of workers who are not required to report hours worked, 77% say they have conducted work outside of standard work hours.

Joyce Maroney, director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos, said updating FLSA’s so-called white collar overtime provision represents the "most significant change" to workplace wage and hour regulation in more than a generation. She adds that 63% of salaried workers who participated in the survey admitting that they would still work after hours even if it were against company policy is a clear warning signal for employers.

Filed Under: Comp & Benefits Legal
Top image credit: Mike McCune