An interesting philosophical question: Should employees get paid overtime for checking their BlackBerries outside work hours? Money-grubbing writers at ABC News say "Yes." Money-grubbing executives at ABC say "No." We say: throw away your BlackBerry and it becomes a moot point.
ABC tried to sneak a waiver into its new contracts saying that news writers "would not be compensated for checking their company-issued BlackBerrys after office hours." The union got upset!
Lowell Peterson, the executive director of the East Coast guild, said the writers are comfortable with the tools of the news trade, but the guild is trying to avoid "the 24/7 workplace."
"People are entitled to time off the job," he said. "BlackBerrys can be liberating; they can help people keep tabs without going into the office. But they can also shackle people to their jobs."
The two sides settled, but this little story was popular with the media because, secretly, all members of the media would love to get paid extra for fiddling with their BlackBerries while waiting in line for the movies. The best solution, of course, is to never check your work email outside of work hours. Then watch the overtime roll in.