Can you sue your boss for making your…

Can you sue your boss for making your read late-night email?

Company-issued smartphones have obliterated the line between the workday and off hours. For employers and workers, 8 p.m. emails from the boss aren’t just disrupting home life. They’re raising legal questions, too.

Several lawsuits have alleged that companies expect employees to work unpaid and off hours via iPhones, BlackBerrys or other digital devices. The number of suits—and legal opinions—is relatively small so far, but attorneys say a newly sympathetic attitude among judges, as well as coming changes to federal labor regulations, could open the door to more claims.

Answer: Probably. A human resources group I belong to notes that FLSA Non-Exempt Employees can’t volunteer their time the command would still be on the hook to pay if the employee pursued it. Employers cannot ‘suffer and permit’.

If bosses knew they were authorizing overtime for every after-hours email to their secretaries (premium pay on Sunday), maybe they’d re-consider.