Responding to Emails Outside of Normal Workday

Dear HR:

I am paid by the hour and my manager expects me to respond to emails at night and on weekends.  I don’t submit for the time I work outside of my normal workday because I am not sure how to add it to my timesheet.  Where I work there is a no overtime rule. Should I be submitting for the time my manager makes me work or not?

 Dear Hourly Employee:

This is a question we get often and we like to say… it’s a fully loaded question with several answers.

I must first ask you if your manager really requires you to work after your work day has ended or on the weekend? OR are you opting to check your email at night and on the weekend? If your answer is a little bit of both… we recommend that you schedule time with your manager and ask for clarity. Some mangers just find that after work hours or on the weekend is when they have time to send emails. It does not always mean that they expect you to be working and answering every email when it’s sent to you.

Regardless, if your manager approves or does not approve you working extra hours to respond to or work on emails that you receive, you have the right to be paid for the hours you work. You should be submitting the time on your timesheet on the day the time is worked.

Be mindful that your employer may have a policy in their handbook that prohibits hourly employees from working outside of their standard work-day without advanced approval. So be sure your manager approved you checking your emails after your standard work-day.  You will be paid for the time but you can be disciplined if you are out of compliance with the policy or handbook

So the big take away is…. Meet with your manager and establish expectations of when emails are to be responded to.

If you have additional questions, call contact us at

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Thanks for continued readership and support.   The McCloskey Partners, LLC Team!