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Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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HI, I was offered a job at a camp as a paramedic. I was

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I was offered a job at a camp as a paramedic. I was told I would be working for 5 weeks from June 29-Aug 7. Before the camp started she e-mailed me asking me to speak with her about days off. I responded stating I did not expect any days off since they told me I would not be doing anything for half a day or so that I would need to find a way to entertain myself. I am expected to stay on the premises 24/7 and be available for kids to come in for injuries or illnesses whenever they want ( just today after expressing my exhaustion she put times up that the clinic at camp would be open but expressed I would still need to be on the premises for emergencies) I have been working since saturday mid day and it has become almost 18 hour days of work seeing kids for a multitude of illnesses and injuries I wake up most days around 630 to a sick kid and go to sleep around midnight passing out the last medications for the kids and seeing them before bedtime. I am woken up routinely in the middle of the night to check a temperature or something of that nature. I have asked many times for a day off and the response is that she (the director) can not find anyone to cover for me while I am gone. I asked her what their plan was in the event I was to get sick and needed time off her response was " we all work at camp even while sick". I have signed a pretty worthless contract stating i will be paid 800/week for working at the camp between the dates of june 29 through aug 7th. I have a feeling this is against the california employment code. Can I just leave without the fear or recourse from them are they paying me correctly and can I file with the labor commission about the fact that i am here 24/7 she says i cant leave the premises and have to be available 24/7 and tries to call the times between kids coming in to the clinic as rest time....

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Do you believe you are actually working more than 100 hours per week?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This past week I have worked more than 100 hours. The clinic log showing the care rendered also reflects that. I am also required to be on premises at all times waiting in the event of a serious illness or injury. I am not allowed to spend my time truely free from my duties.

I see. Thank you for clarifying the situation for me, Kris. It is certainly clear why you are exhausted.

First, CA law typically requires that employers pay employees at least minimum wage for all hours actually worked. Where you are working more than 100 hours per week and being paid $800 for that week, that would typically violate state wage and hour laws, including overtime laws which require employees be paid time and 1/2 for all hours exceeding 8 per day. So you do appear to have a wage claim for back wages owed against the employer which could be filed with the state labor board if the employer refuses to comply with the law.

In addition, Labor Code Section 551 provides that every employee is typically entitled to one days rest in 7, so there appears to be a violation of that code as well, which could be filed with the labor board. Here is a link to the statute:

Here is a link to the labor board's site to file a claim:

On call time may also need to be compensated by the employer if you are unable to use the time for personal use, so I would raise that issue with the labor board as well.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was also reading the california labor codes can you elaborate on 554 which states that the one in seven law can be applied to the month so I can work 26 days in a row as long as im given 4 days off in the month. But I think if I am not mistaken those who are in a role other than like lets say a wildland fire fighter would be exempt from that.


I also have another question its true that since I am not allowed to leave the premises during those "on call" times that I am technically by law still on duty and must therefore be compensated for that time at no less than minimum wage.


I guess in summary my question is since I am here 24/7 must be on the premises and available for emergencies and to care for the sick and injured, and that if I am not tending to a patient I must still remain on the premises available for such I am entitled to pay and overtime for all the time I am on the premises.

Yes, Section 554 would typically apply to firefighters or others who work in a similar capacity where they cannot simply take a day of rest while the fire rages on. It would not normally apply to your situation where the employer should alleviate your workload by hiring another person.

Yes, if you are not permitted to leave the premises, you should normally be paid for the on-call time.

Where an employee's on-duty period extends for 24 hours or more, both sleep time and uninterrupted meal periods of at least 30 minutes many be excluded from working time though typically under CA law.

Here is a link which summarizes this:

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