CMG: Digital Workplace Apps Drive Engagement and Class Action Lawsuits

CUNA Mutual Group (CMG) issued a Risk Alert alerting credit unions that digital workplace apps can assist employers in facilitating engagement among employees. The apps strive to funnel employee relations and development into an accessible and efficient, single portal – providing a unique alternative to workplace productivity and employee enrichment. However, some employees have filed class action lawsuits that fall into categories like expense reimbursement, off-the-clock work, interruption of meal or rest periods, and content-based claims.

According to CMG, the lawsuits relating to digital workplace apps tend to fall into four categories:

  1. Expense reimbursement - Many states have employee reimbursement laws that require indemnification for business-related expenses including mobile cellular data and home internet service.
  2. Off-the-clock work - Digital workplace apps may provide the opportunity for employees to perform work “off-the-clock”. Even if this wasn’t the employer’s intention, these situations can lead to claims for unpaid wages.
  3. Interruption of meal or rest periods - Some workplaces have encouraged employees to check digital workplace apps only during working hours. This has led to claims that meal and rest periods were interrupted because these are the only workday times when employees have an opportunity to access mobile devices.
  4. Content-based claims - Digital workplace apps allow quick and frequent communication making content-screening difficult. Lack of screening increases the possibility of harassment, discrimination, workplace bullying, and even privacy violations. This risk may be amplified if posting of social content is allowed.

Click here to read the full CMG Risk Alert.