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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18789
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am required to be on call week at a time. When I get a

Customer Question

I am required to be on call for a week at a time. When I get a call to report to a gas leak or out of gas call I have to respond right of way. I do get compensated for my time while engaging on the call out but I do not get compensated for sitting by the phone the entire week. I cannot go anywhere with my family like movies, dinner, beach etc. Is there a law that requires my employer to compensate my for being on call.....And just on more thing.. if I get called out on a Sunday which would be the start of a new pay week my employer will cut my hours that week so they won't have to pay me overtime..... please let me know if I have any rights on this matter
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

This really depends on how "right away" it has to be. If you could be at dinner, and then get up and leave that dinner, then technically that isn't a requirement to be there "right away." When the government has required an employer to pay wages for "on call time" the employee has had to be required to stay at a specific location (like in a workplace building) or to be within 10 minutes of a specific location.

If your employer just requires that, once you get the call, you leave what you're doing and go in, that's not compensible time because you do have the freedom to go and do things....they just may be interrupted. Fair or not, courts do not find that to be so restrictive that it is to be paid time. Only the time you are engaged in work is payable.

Finally, reducing your hours later in a week to avoid having to pay overtime is legal.

I wish I could tell you differently here, but your facts give no clear indication of any legal violations.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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