Most of us don’t feel we get enough rest… and lack of rest can lead to poor fitness and, perhaps, higher chance for injury.

Can we get more rest at work?

Monica Velazquez: “Some of these manufacturers claim that offering sleep pods in the workplace, where employees can recharge and re-focus, can lead to a more attentive, alert, and productive workforce. However, do such sleep pods or ‘quiet’ rooms belong in the workplace?”

“As an employment lawyer and weary of legal traps, the answer is no. While sleep pods are generally designed to hold only one person (thankfully, not designed for hanky panky), what if the employee is assaulted or inappropriately touched by another employee while they are in deep sleep? Is the time break time spent in the sleep pod compensable time under the FLSA which must be paid to the employee? Can you deduct such sleep time so that you don’t have to pay overtime? What if you have an employee that abuses his 20 minute time slot or is always found in the sleep pod – does it put you on notice that he may have a medical condition or disability protected by the ADA? Can you fairly discipline employees who sleep on the job and neglect their duties when you are encouraging (or enabling) them by providing a sleep pod at work? What if the employee hurts her back or gets injured on the sleep pod? Can you make sleep pod time part of your wellness plan or offer it as part of intermittent FMLA leave?”

“More and more questions and other legal ramifications began running through my mind as I listened to the news story about sleep pods, which lead me to the conclusion that, for now, sleep pods at work are not a good idea. By the way, can you guess which profession is ranked No. 2 as the most sleep-deprived occupation according to a 2012 CDC National Health Interview Survey? Lawyers came in close second to Home Health Aides (by a difference of only 3 minutes). Maybe, I should rethink my conclusion or at least sleep on it…”