View Full Version : compensation for being on call

07-23-2004, 09:01 AM
I was employed by a company that wanted me to carry a cell phone with me
at work and at home. I was a hourly employee. Carrying a cell phone 24 hours a day puts me on call all the time. I need to know the law on compensation for employee on call. I live in the state of Maryland. If I didn't answerd the cell phone I was question and harass.

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07-23-2004, 03:28 PM
Federal wage and hour law does not require payment for times when an employee is asked to carry a cell phone (to be answered in the case of a business need) so long as the employee has a relative amount of freedom while he / she is waiting for a call.

However, if you should be required to work upon receiving a call, your employer will need to pay you for the time you are at work.

Maryland law states, "Work may even mean sleep time if a worker must remain on the premises for anytime less than 24 hours. Where free to leave without the possibility of consequence, the worker is on his or her own time, even if instructed to remain "on call" with a beeper, and may not be entitled to compensation. Once called back to work, however, compensation becomes due."

Please let me know if this answers your question.

08-10-2004, 11:44 AM
this is in reference to the question you answered on 7-23-04.
I live in idaho, I too am on-call in case of business needs. However; I am told to respond to the pager within 20 min. I feel this is a huge invasion of my "time off", and severely limits what I can do. Also , Idaho law states:HOURS WORKED

Employees must be paid for all hours worked in a workweek. In general, "hours worked" includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer's premises, or at any other prescribed place of work. Also included is any additional time that an employee is suffered or permitted to work.
Am I not, on duty? And, what is mean by "suffered"?

08-10-2004, 12:32 PM
The issue of on-call pay is determined on a "case-by-case analysis" according to the federal Wage and Hour Division. The determination of whether on-call pay is warranted is if the on-call time is spent "predominantly for the employer's benefit". If an employee is required to stay at the employer's premises or so close that he/she can't use the time for his/her own purposes, it may be considered working time. However, there have been cases where the employee has been required to remain on the employer's premises and yet the Wage and Hour Division has not considered it as working time. In that case, the on-call staff had access to entertainment facilities (VCR, TV, card games) and they were permitted to go to their on-site living quarters.

A couple of the factors that the Wage and Hour Division will consider are the amount of response time permitted (to not just call in but also to arrive at work) and the frequency of which you are called. Wearing a pager has not been deemed as a factor that will automatically trigger compensation. There have been decisions which stated a response time of 5 minutes caused the on-call time to be considered working time while 30 minutes to one hour is not compensable time.

I know that this topic is very confusing...therefore, I suggest you call your local federal wage and hour division and discuss it with them. That office may be found in your telephone directory under US Government Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

05-23-2005, 06:00 PM
i live in plant city fl, i am required to wear a pager for on call duties. my employer only pays me from the time i arrive at my job site until the time i exit my job site. I live 40 minutes away, and if my call requires ten minutes of service, then i am only paid for that ten minutes of time. Is this legal in the state of florida? should'nt i also be conpensated for either wear and tear on my vehicle and gas, or the time it takes to drive to and from my work place. i must answer my calls within ten minutes, and have 20 minutes to respond. where can i find the labor laws for my situation? or do you have advice? thank you

05-23-2005, 06:16 PM
Unfortunately, no, the time you spend driving to and from the jobsite is not considered as paid time. Your employer is paying you correctly.

05-23-2005, 06:43 PM
Should i not expect any reimbursement for wear and tear or gas for using my personal auto? My employee handbook states if an employee is asked to conduct company business using their personal vehicle, they will be reimbursed at the rate of thirty-two cents(.32) per mile. This reimbursement amount accounts for all out-of-pocket expenses including wear and tear and fuel. This expense should be submitted on a weekly expense report (located on the p drive at: p _ standard forms\expense reimbursement form). For a reimbursement expense of not more than $25 that is not routine in nature, the employee may be reimbursed through the property's petty cash account. Please refer to the travel section of the you and your staff policies & procedures manual for detailed travel policies.

05-23-2005, 06:51 PM
That is a topic between you and your employer. Even if the employee handbook says that, your only recourse is to go to court.

05-23-2005, 06:52 PM
o.k thank you for your time

07-31-2005, 01:28 PM
I live in Georgia and I am required to carry a pager and cell phone for designated days throughout the week. I am not paid call or call back pay if I have to go in. My boss says that I have to remain within 30 minutes of work when I am on call. I am a manager, but paid hourly. Is this legal?
Gapini :confused:

03-05-2006, 12:49 PM
Are you saying that in the State of Maryland, I am bound to the pager schedule and the company does not have to pay to carry the pager? Currently, I am being paid $75 per week but the company is thinking of cutting out the pager pay and pay only per call that you receive. I just want to clarify that Maryland Labor Laws states that it is okay for an employer to not pay his employee unless he is required to come into the office after receiving that page.


03-05-2006, 01:47 PM
In no state is an employer required to pay an employee simply for carrying a pager, but only for coming in to work. It was one thing when employees were tied to a phone and couldn't leave the house; it's a different thing now that pagers and cell phones allow an employee to go about their personal business and still be within reach if a call comes in.

03-05-2006, 04:43 PM
In MD this would be perfectly legal.

03-27-2009, 09:38 PM
leave1ec - Would you please start your own "new" thread. You added your question to another poster's old thread. Thanks.

07-03-2009, 02:23 AM
I also carry a pager and get called in to work (30 min drive) and clock in for 10 minutes to do a call and dont get the overtime because my employer will send me home early on Friday cutting me out of my overtime for my call outs all week. I might make the trip to work and back home 4 or 5 times in a day on call. Simple math says im loosing money running those calls. If I refuse they threaten me with termination.

07-03-2009, 06:23 AM
Do you have a legal question? If so, please start your own thread instead of taking it onto one that is now four years old.

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