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Portugal, You Beautiful Bastard, Your New Law Has Me Updating My Resume

It might be time to stat applying for jobs in Portugal.

According to an Associated Press report, the country passed a new law on Friday that could lead to penalties against employers who contact workers outside of office hours.

Oh. Hell. Yes.

How would this all work? Well, according to the report, companies could face an increase in gas and electricity bills as part of their punishment for sending text messages and making calls to workers outside set business hours.

“The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated,” Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s Minister of Labor and Social Security, told a tech conference last week in Lisbon.

“The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated.” she said.

“Telework can be a ‘game changer’ if we profit from the advantages and reduce the disadvantages.

“We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal,” she added.

Well, now we do too.
Updating my passport.

So, also, and for fairness… the U.S. doesn’t have a specific law as Portugal on bosses contacting workers after work hours, it does have a Fair Labor Standards Act provision that should help clear up some confusion for hourly employees.

9. How are hours worked calculated for employees who work from home or no longer work at an employer’s worksite? (revised 04/26/2021)

Under the FLSA, your employer is required to pay you for all work performed whether at the employer’s worksite or at your home.  Therefore, you must be paid for all hours of telework actually performed, including overtime work, in accordance with the FLSA.  Your employer must pay you for all reported and unreported hours of telework that they know or have reason to believe had been performed. This is true even for the hours of telework that your employer did not authorize.  It is an employer’s obligation to exercise control to prevent unwanted work from being performed.  In most cases, your employer may satisfy their obligation to pay their teleworking employees by providing reasonable time-reporting procedures and paying employees for all reported hours.

Meanwhile, for salaried workers are out of luck on this one. Either you find a boss who doesn’t contact you at all hours or you do the work.

Photo by Shaun Donnelly on Unsplash

Written by Malcolm Henry

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