As most employers know, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is in the process of redefining the exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees, and it is widely-expected that the new regulations will greatly decrease the number of employees eligible for these exemptions. The DOL expects to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking on these issues in June 2015.
But that's not the only subject on the DOL's radar. In its Spring 2015 regulatory agenda, published on May 21, 2015, the DOL has advised that by the end of August 2015, it plans to issue a Request for Information "on the use of technology, including portable electronic devices, by employees away from the workplace and outside of scheduled work hours." A copy of the DOL's Spring 2015 agenda is available at: http://www.reginfo.gov.
The most likely purpose of the DOL's attention is to issue new regulations that classify such usage as compensable time.
Employers that provide portable electronic devices to non-exempt employees should stay tuned for more information on the DOL's actions in this area.