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On call Pay Questions

On call pay can be hard to receive for those employees who are not restricted in their ability to move about and continue with their life as normal. However, there are situations where an employee is required to stay in one area and not leave during the on call period. When employees realize that they will not get paid for working on call, it can lead to very unhappy employees and raise questions about on call pay and on call pay laws. When people want to learn more about on call policy and on call laws, they ask the Employment Experts.. The Experts answer a wide variety of questions related to on call pay. Below are five of the top questions answered by the Experts.

Can an employer withhold vacation pay or wages if you refuse to be on call without pay?

An employer can put an employee on call without pay if the employee isn’t severely restricted in the ability to move about. With most everyone having cell phones or beepers, the idea that one is restricted can be hard to prove in court. As far as the vacation time goes, as long as you do not have a contract stating otherwise, an employer can take the vacation time as punishment for you not performing on call duties. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, your employer cannot withhold your wages for hours already worked. If your employer is doing this, you should file a wage claim with the state department of labor or the US Department of labor.

When paying an employee on call pay for after hours, do they receive the same hourly or salaried rate, or a reduced on call rate?

Generally, you would pay an on call employee based on how much control you would have over that employee while on call. For instance, if the employee has to stay in the office on the computer, or if the employee has to stay at home and refrain from drinking alcohol, or if the employee actually performs any work while being on call, etc. The more limitations put on the employee will determine that you pay at least minimum wage for each hour the employee is on call and pay for any overtime hours accordingly. If you only require the employee to be available to answer questions that can be done by cell phone, it is unlikely that you would be expected to pay anything at all except for the time that he is actually performing work duties during the on call time.

Is it legal for an employer to not pay on call pay to employee’s but to tell them to take a day off during the pay period as compensation?

If an employer allows employees to take an extra day off from work as compensation for working on call, this is generally completely up to the employer. The employer is not required to offer such allowances to employees, especially if the employees are hired as at will employment. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the payment of on call pay is based on what restrictions the employer places on the employees while being on call. If an employee is forced to remain in one area, such as an office while on call, the employer should pay the employee for hours of work performed. However, if there are no restrictions other than being available for questions and they can be reached by phone, the employer isn’t required to pay for on call time. There have been times that the courts state that requiring an employee to refrain from alcohol and responding to a call within a set time frame are considered minor restrictions and do not require an employer to pay for the on call pay.

Is it legal to require an on call employee be in front of the computer at all times?

An employer who expects the employee to be restricted to a desk in front of a computer for long periods of time is being unreasonable. Also, if the employer is going to restrict an employee in this manner, the employer should expect to pay the employee on call pay. If for some reason the employer refuses to pay the employee, this would be grounds for seeking on call pay which a court would order the employer to pay. You may want to consult an attorney about your rights.

Can an employer expect an employee to be on call for an entire weekend without on call pay?

Due to the efficiency of cell phones, it is hard for an employee to argue the fact that they have restrictions severe enough to consider on call pay. If the employer expects you to remain in one area and to perform job duties during your on call period, usually the employee will be paid on call pay. However, if there are very few restrictions such as answering a call within a set amount of time or to refrain from alcohol during the on call period, these restrictions would not be enough to require on call pay.

When an employer doesn’t pay an employee on call pay, it can leave an employee wondering what their rights are and the provisions of on call pay laws. There are some situations that require an experienced insight to Employment law. Before you take the advice of your friends and family, or pay outrageous lawyer fees, you can ask the Experts. The Experts can offer legal insight and find a solution for your individual situation in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8091
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
2 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Employment Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7759
JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 9785
Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

Recent On Call Questions

  • My husband is 60 years old. He is the Environmental Services

    My husband is 60 years old. He is the Environmental Services Director (Maintenance Director) for a nursing home facility. He has a non-work related neck injury that he will have surgery for in January 2015. His boss has already told him she would not let him come back to work if he has any restrictions - that he can only return when fully released. This is not a work comp issue. Is it legal for her to not let him return?
    In anticipation, he is going to take FMLA. His boss is aware of this. He was scheduled off work today and a co-worker texted him that the boss was overheard asking one of my husband's housekeeping employees if he thought he could do my husband's job. The housekeeper said yes, and the boss said "let's go out to lunch and talk about it." Is this legal with her knowing about his upcoming surgery and FMLA?
    My husband is afraid she is looking for a reason to let him go and hire someone for less pay. Is there anything he can do to protect his job?
    Thank you.
  • There are approximately 30 employees who will be terminated

    There are approximately 30 employees who will be terminated from CDS Global in Des Moines, Iowa sometime between January 1 and March 31, 2015 due to CDS closing the operations department in Des Moines. When we were first told about this on October 1, 2014 we were told that we would each receive two-weeks of severance pay for every year of employment by HR personnel. Then on November 14, HR personnel came back to our department and said "sorry" but you'll only get one-week of severance pay for every year of employment. Is there anything we can do?
  • I live in Texas and my former employer is in California. I

    I live in Texas and my former employer is in California. I quit 2 weeks ago.(I worked remotely as a manager for the company). Is the non compete clause I signed enforceable? I am finding that I am nearly unemployable in my field and this is keeping me from earning a living. I heard CA doesn't even allow non compete clauses, but that Texas does. I don't want get in trouble but this seems unreasonable. The non compete clause is 24 mo. from my employment end date. The work type is national and involves CMS Risk Adjustment. They have hired others and are knowingly breaking these agreements that their own client has, they have staff who is also employee of their clients and would appear to be a conflict. Do I have a leg to stand on? The clause even prevents me from starting my own company. Since they are doing that doesn't enforcement of the non compete seem petty and personal?
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