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[Exempt] Employees No-Pay for On-Call

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  • [Exempt] Employees No-Pay for On-Call

    I am a manager of Engineers for a Telecom Company in Missouri. We are all "Exempt" employees.
    We were requested to pull, "On a Temporary basis", on-Call to work issues as they arose after hours and on weekends.
    We were given a pager and I had to create an on-Call schedule.
    The Employee Handbook contained Language about Pay for Exempt employees for On-Call but we received no compensation.
    The Problem is... it's been a year now and I questioned the compensation for on-Call with my Director.
    Guess what... there will be no compensation, it's not temporary and they removed the Exempt On-Call Compensation Language from the Employee Handbook!!!
    Is this legal? Is that all it takes? Just word it differently or remove words from a seemingly now meaningless document?

  • #2
    Missouri

    Great question. It seems that if information stating that you would be paid for on-call duty was in the employee handbook, you should have received that pay. In the majority of states, however, employers can change their policy at any time...so that the pay is adjusted immediately after the policy, with or without the acknowledgment or approval of the employees. That means the premium pay would have been decreased after the new policy has been implemented. It seems that the agencies in change of wage and hour enforcement would take a dim view of retroactively applying a decrease.

    My suggestion is that you contact your local US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division. It is probably in St. Louis. You can find their number by looking in the telephone directory under US government. They can assist you in determining if this is a legal practice in Missouri. They will also pursue the owed wages for you if they feel that your employer is in the wrong.

    Let me know how it turns out. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator
    www.laborlawtalk.com

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