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Len, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 444
Experience:  15 years experience in employment and criminal Law.
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As an exempt salaried employee can I be ordered to carry a

Customer Question

As an exempt salaried employee can I be ordered to carry a "24 hour hotline" telephone in order to "keep" my job and answer the phone or call back within 5 minutes? This is 24 hours a day 2 weeks out of the month with no extra pay.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Len replied 8 years ago.



The real question is whether you are properly classified as a salary exempt employee, and I would be happy to analye that for you. But a quick answer is that yes a salary exempt person can be required to take on extra duties. Of course, there should be some kind of trade off such as comp time, but not required.


"On Call" is one of the worst drawbacks to being "salaried". I remember many restless nights from when I was a prosecutor, no comp time. So, I understand the frustration.


If you want me to go over your employment status, I'll need:


1. Approximate salary level. Is it above 75K?

2. What is your normal shift or length of duty on a given day?

3. Are you a licensed professional, nurse, lawyer, etc?

4. Can you describe your duties, management with hiring/firing resp., supervisor over a line, random work sites, etc.

5. How many hours do you work in a week?






Len and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Len,
1) My salary is $49,000
2) I work at least 8 hours. Recently required to work a 4 hour Saturday shift a month also.
3) No license
4) My title is office manager, my duties are mostly customer service and accounting.
5) I work 40 hours or more in office with this recent "on call" requirement added in order to keep my job.

Thanks XXXXX
Expert:  Len replied 8 years ago.

No doubt, you are in a tough position, especially in this economy. The salary is in line with your described duties, and it is substantial enough to warrant a salary exemption. When combined with your job duties and schedule, you are probably classified properly.


Now, there is a twist. If for example, you are taking calls and performing duties associated with the "line" hourly workers, outside of normal working hours, you could make an argument that additional compensation is warranted based upon a change of duties. You could also get a determination by visiting your local labor commission, (maybe your state has an internet option). You can also seek a letter from the department of labor federal website.


Now, keep in mind that they may insist that you provide the employer's name, and this could lead to them contacting the employer. You would have protection by making the claim/inquiry, however, the employer may still react in a negative fashion, (just something to consider).


Finally, I would recommend that you contact a local employment lawyer in your area. There is no substitute for a one on one consultation.


Take Care,