After-hours e-mails may make Brazilians eligible for overtime

Brazilians who receive work e-mails or phone calls after office hours could be eligible for overtime, according to a new labor law.

Story highlights

  • Getting office e-mails or calls after hours could prompt overtime
  • Brazil's Supreme Labor Court will review the legislation

Brazilians who receive work e-mails or phone calls after office hours could be eligible for overtime, according to a new labor law.

The law says e-mails and calls from companies to employees is the equivalent of direct orders from the bosses.

The legislation, signed by President Dilma Rousseff in December, has generated many questions, doubts and arguments, according to Brazil's Labor Ministry.

"It's not clear what it means or how workers could use it," said one official at the ministry press office, who did not give her name.

Labor lawyers have been quoted in local media saying workers who answer work e-mails after hours could demand overpay.

O Globo newspaper says the Supreme Labor Court will review the issue in February when they return from recess and decide if employees are in effect working from home if they have to receive e-mails and phone calls from their employer.

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