Getting Paid for Booting Up: Hourly employees are revolting against their nickel-and-diming employers.
If you've ever killed time schmoozing with colleagues while your computer boots up, your boss might owe you a few bucks. Hourly workers at AT&T, UnitedHealth Group, and Cigna have filed lawsuits against their respective employers, claiming they should be paid for the time they spend booting up and shutting down their computers roughly 15 minutes a day, or, added up over a year, some 60 hours of wages. "Employees are required to be available to take a call at the start of their shift," says attorney David Schlesinger, who represents a group of AT&T workers who arrive early just to log in to their programs. "AT&T isn't explicitly asking them to do it, but they leave them no alternative," he claims.
Maybe so, but we wonder if those uncompensated minutes aren't offset by the estimated two hours a day at work we fritter away on Facebook and YouTube. Here, the top time-sucks we're still getting paid for, according to salary.com:
1. Web surfing
2. Watercooler chitchat
3. Personal business
4. Phoning friends
5. Extended breaks, like long lunches and coffee runs.