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Whether hours spent on call is hours worked is a question of…

Whether hours spent on call...
Whether hours spent on call is hours worked is a question of fact to be decided on a case by case basis. So what specifics would i need to make my case stronger when it gets reviewed? I fall under the Law enforcement nonexempt hourly status. After leaving work i am required to be on call ready to respond within a certain time. I am restrictive to the point i am unable to use on call time for my own purposes. I have been denied any overtime or comp time for such hours.
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Answered in 4 hours by:
6/26/2010
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,713
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified
On call time is based on whether or not the employee is free to leave the premises of the employer and can roam about. Minor restrictions such as response time or no drinking are considered not to be sufficient restriction to force the payment of on call time. If the employee is free to move about and contacted by cell phone or beeper, then even if there are minor restrictions the court holds that no on call time is due.


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Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,713
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Do you suggest I contact the dept of labor or do I need to hire an attorney to see if I have a claim. I am not getting paid for the hours that I have responded. At times I have worked all day and then gone back out at 2am then 4am.. Next day being back at work at 8am. Other than quitting what other options do i have to be compensated?

 

thanks

 

You do not need an attorney to contact the Department of Labor and they will investigate the matter and will force the employer to pay what is owed and will penalize the employer as well. You should NOT quit because if you quit, you would then have a bigger fight trying to get your money because you would have to sue in court.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
So how many restricitons would be enough to get paid overtime for on call time? I feel I am very restricted, but what does the court system look at?
What the court looks at is whether or not you are free to move about, even if you are tethered to a cell phone or pager, then you do not have to be paid on call time. The fact you cannot drink or may not be able to go beyond a certain distance is not a sufficient restriction to cause the court to order on call pay. The court will order on call pay for example when the company mandates an employee remain at a specific location and cannot leave, but other than that with the cell communications today they rarely order on call pay.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

What is the difference between engaged to wait and waiting to be engaged? Engaged to wait is on duty with waiting to be engaged is off duty?

 

thanks

Engaged to wait is when they tell you that you have to be at a certain location to await their call. Waiting to be engaged means you have freedom to move about until they call you.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Maybe i am drawing at straws, so waiting at home awating a call should be "engaged to wait"?
It is being engaged to wait only if they tell you that you must remain at home during this time. If they have no such rule and you just choose to wait at home then you would have no chance with that argument. The essence is not what you feel you can do while on call, it is being actually restricted by the employer while on call. Thus, because you feel like you cannot go out and enjoy dinner or a movie or go shopping while on call is not relevant, it is if the employer TELLS you that you cannot do those things that would mandate that they pay you on call pay.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
your info has been beneficial. where do i go to give you a positive response
You can do so on the feedback page which you can get to, I believe, from a link at the top right of your page.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I was called in today to disucss that the dept is willing to pay overtime on call outs and any time that qualifies for overtime. During the convesation an 8 hour period pay cycle was mentioned. Now in the past I have been under the law enforcement system of 86 hrs before any overtime started. If I have actually been under a 40 hour week am I entitled to back pay of all the pay periods over the limit?
They need to pay anytime you are called out, if you are not a salaried employee. If you are an hourly employee, then they should have been paying you under the Fair Labor Standards Act for all hours over 40 in a week and if they did not and if they do not pay you back pay you need to file a complaint with the Department of Labor's wage and hour division.
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