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DEBATE: Chicago Cop Sues for Overtime Pay for Checking Emails, Answering Calls After Work Hours

As seen on Happening Now

If you check emails or take calls from your boss after work hours, should you be paid overtime for it?

That's the question a federal court will rule on after a Chicago police officer, Sgt. Jeffrey Allen, sued the city for overtime pay for himself and fellow officers.

If he wins, the city could owe millions of dollars in back pay, and it could lead many more workers around the country to take similar legal action. "Everybody can {C}

relate to this because people are being asked all the time these days to work for free and they are being told to work for free using their phones," attorney Paul Geiger told Associated Press.

The city argues there is a procedure in place in which officers can ask for overtime in writing. Jenna Lee went over the merits of the case on Happening Now with former prosecutor Tad Nelson and criminal defense attorney John Manuelian.

Nelson argued the case is "ridiculous," arguing that the city should counter by asking to see Allen's private cell phone and then add up all of the personal texts or calls he may have made on work hours.

"That would be fun wouldn't it?" Manuelian said it all depends whether a significant amount of time was spent doing these things after work. He said the time should be tracked by the employee and then submitted to the employer for review.

Watch the discussion:

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