Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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While it's not the law that an exempt employee HAS to be on call 24/7, it's by no means illegal to require an exempt employee to be on call 24/7. There's no law that says you can only be required to work a certain amount of time per day, per week, per month, etc... and even though I can't imagine a company would be able to retain workers in such a situation, the company can require any and all employees to be on call 24/7.
Only if it could be shown that the company was discriminating against any employee specifically because of his or her race, age, religion, gender, or disability, in this regard, could that potentially be actionable.
Otherwise, the employer does have the discretion to require this.
This is part of the "at will" employment doctrine. Florida is an at will employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
I do have a question regarding contractual....upon accepting this position I was required to sign an agreement of employment and job description, in this agreement there was no mention of 24/7. within 30 days this agreement was changed 4 times. it is this last agreement that the 24/7 was put in. I have refused to sign this and I was provided with two options...sign, or leave.
it depends on the extent of the "contract". To really be an employment contract, there needs to be a specific term that the agremeent is for. That is, the employee needs to be guaranteed employment for a period of time (such as a year, two years, five years, etc...). If there's no guarantee (in that it's open ended, or reaffirms the at will provision, etc...) then they can still do this (because the agreement is not a contract). The contract has to bind them and prohibit them from doing something (firing you without good cause) for it to be a contract.
My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!