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  • On Call Compensation California

    I am a Health Care recruiter non exempt employee and have been taking call for five years. I was informed during a Federal Audit that I am to be compensated for my on call time. I am on every other week 7 days on 7 off. I am required to come into the office if necessary and to trouble shoot all problems. I carry a BlackBerry and monitor all activities to our staffing agency. If so how do I go about receiving compensation and no we have no HR department.

  • #2
    Under Federal regs per DOL, you should be compensated for every hour of on-call time (or whatever fraction of an hour your er customarily measures time in) in which you actually perform a service to the er (and I believe that does include travel time) or your activities are signficantly curtailed as a result of being on call. If you are free to do whatever you want and must simply keep the device with you just in case, that time does not necessarily count toward wages. That's my understanding of the federal standards. What CA may do differently (and it seems like CA does everything differently) I'll leave to someone with more knowledge of CA law.
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    • #3
      The California Department of Labor Standards (DLSE) considers the following standards to determine if on call time is compensable:
      (1) geographical restrictions on the employees' movements;
      (2) required response time;
      (3) the nature of the employment; and
      (4) the extent the employer's policy impacts personal activities during on call time.

      The federal Ninth Circuit in California basically looks to two factors in determining if the time is controlled or uncontrolled:
      (1) the degree to which employees are free to engage in personal activities and
      (2) the agreement between the employer and employee. The U.S. Supreme Court looks at whether the time is spent predominantly for the employer’s or the employee’s benefit. Here are further examples of court decisions ruling that standby time was uncontrolled:

      -- A hospital biomedical repair technician was not entitled to compensation even though he was the only on-call tech, was required to respond to all calls, responded to an average of 4 to 5 calls per week, was on-call by beeper, had to respond within 20 minutes, and could not be intoxicated if called.
      -- Detectives were not entitled to pay for time spent on-call during meal breaks, even though they were required to remain sober and respond via beeper within 20 minutes.

      -- An ambulance dispatcher was not entitled to pay while on-call because she was allowed to visit friends, entertain guests, sleep, watch television, do laundry and babysit. -- A canine officer was not entitled to compensation though required to carry a pager, avoid alcohol and respond within 10 minutes.
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