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On Call and Overtime- Pennsylvania

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  • On Call and Overtime- Pennsylvania

    We are currently planning on hiring our first part time tech support employee who may be used as on call a day or two a week and I want to make sure we are planning correctly.

    Three questions:

    1. -If an employee is "on call" (eg: required to be by their phone and have access to a computer within a few minutes), must we pay them for that time on-call? Obviously we must pay them for time handling a call. Can we pay them a substantially reduced rate while on-call? My understanding is that we can pay an employee a nominal rate (say $3/hr) while "on-call" and then raise their rate to their normal wage when handling a call. Is that correct?

    2. Would a "tech" be subject to overtime in a seasonal bussiness?

    3. Does on-call time count toward overtime? Eg: if an employee is subject to overtime and works a 40 hour week followed by 8 hours on-call, is that time subject to overtime for the period when they are on call? If they handle a call, I assume the time spent on the call is subject to overtime assuming, of course, they are subject to overtime in the first place.

    Thanks for you help!
    Last edited by seth_hol; 01-21-2013, 07:09 AM.

  • #2
    Noticed I have had no responses yet so I was just curious if any more detail is needed for this question or is it too specific a situation to provide general guidance for?

    Thanks in advance!

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    • #3
      What is the nature of the seasonal business? It could make a difference.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the response!

        We are a vendor operating photo concessions within various amusements parks and resorts in PA.

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        • #5
          Here is the link to the exemption information http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs18.htm
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            Thanks! That covers the seasonal exemption formula's and we are always right on the cusp. If we were to be required to pay overtime any idea about how "on call" time effects that (the hours that are just on call not when the employee is actually on a call) and if there is a minimum amount of pay that needs to be given for those on call hours if they are deemed to be restricted enough to require pay?

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            • #7
              If the employee is unduly restricted, then they must be paid at least minimum wage for the on-call hours. If they are required to sit by the phone and log onto the computer within minutes, it must be paid. You can pay any rate over MW you desire, just as for other working hours. Admimistratively, I think it would be a nightmare to pay some of the time at one rate and the rest of that time at another. Set a rate for on-call time and keep it clean.

              If they just must leave a number where they can be reached and have a reasonable amount of time to get to a computer if need be, it does not need to be paid at all.

              If it is paid, those hours count toward OT. Remember that OT is due after 40 in a week so if this person is PT, they may not reach that threshold.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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