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Back Wages Owed?? Virginia Virginia Virginia

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  • Back Wages Owed?? Virginia Virginia Virginia

    I'm trying to figure out if I am owed back pay. I worked for a small doctor's office full time. The owner (doctor) who bought the clinic out decided he did not want an office manager. I was required to be the contact person for whenever someone could not come to work. I was required to keep my personal cell phone on whenever I was not working so I could be reached. And on as many as 9 possibly more times people called in. Which meant that off the clock I had to take the call, then make phone calls to get coverage for the clinic. I was not paid for this, and was told by the doctor that when the numbers went up I would be "rewarded" for all the extra work I put in. Well my reward came in the form of being fired. Am I entitled to any compensation for all the times I had to work off the clock trying to find coverage? In essence I was "on call", is there a minimum amount of hours you are paid for when called in? And would making phone calls for coverage be considered time worked not paid?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  • #2
    Back Wages Owed?? Virginia Virginia Virginia

    I'm trying to figure out if I am owed back pay. I worked for a small doctor's office full time. The owner (doctor) who bought the clinic out decided he did not want an office manager. I was required to be the contact person for whenever someone could not come to work. I was required to keep my personal cell phone on whenever I was not working so I could be reached. And on as many as 9 possibly more times people called in. Which meant that off the clock I had to take the call, then make phone calls to get coverage for the clinic. I was not paid for this, and was told by the doctor that when the numbers went up I would be "rewarded" for all the extra work I put in. Well my reward came in the form of being fired. Am I entitled to any compensation for all the times I had to work off the clock trying to find coverage? In essence I was "on call", is there a minimum amount of hours you are paid for when called in? And would making phone calls for coverage be considered time worked not paid?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    Comment


    • #3
      There's no such thing as legislated on-call pay. However, you are required to be paid for the time spent on the phone, and if that time exceeded 40 hours in any given week, then at OT rates.

      Pull together all the dates and amount of time you worked on each date, and file a claim with your state or the federal DOL.

      Comment


      • #4
        Duplicate post. OP, there's no need to post more than once in this forum - we're certainly not going to answer more than once! See your other post for your answer.

        Comment


        • #5
          OK. Simple stuff first. Federal law (FLSA) says that you must be paid at least minimum wage ($7.25/hr for federal) on average for the workweek for all hours worked. If you spent one minute on a phone call, that is one minute worked. There is no federal rule that says if you spend one minute on the phone call, you get paid an hour or some minimum amount of time. Hours worked is literally hours worked under the federal rules. If your unpaid time causes unpaid overtime, then that is also a federal claim. As far as the feds are concerned, there is no difference between you answering a work related call at home versus at work. Hours worked are hours worked are hours worked.

          Federal law is applicable everywhere. Your state can have it's own laws, but these are in addition to, not instead of, fedreral law. The feds do not care even a little bit about state law. They take care of federal law only.

          Your state is not my state. While I generally think of VA as a "just like fed" state, you should not be taking my word for this. Wait for another responder who actually knows something about VA law (if any).
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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          • #6
            On call has a very specific meaning in the law. It means that your time has been "sufficently restricted" to the point that the goverment thinks you should be paid. This is a 1940s era regulation (and US Supreme Court decision) that started this ball rolling. The original court case where fire fighters who were literally stuck in the fire house. Since then there have been a ton of court cases and administrative decisions. Carrying a cell phone or pager is legally nothing. Not being able to party (or have a life) is legally nothing. The employer either has to force you to remain in a physical location or have a very quick report to work time (say 15 minutes or less) before on call becomes an issue.

            Moderator - we now have answers against both threads. Could you please merge the threads.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DAW View Post
              Moderator - we now have answers against both threads. Could you please merge the threads.
              Will merge threads.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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