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Thread: Where can I find average "on-call" pay rate statistics? Pennsylvania

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    Default Where can I find average "on-call" pay rate statistics? Pennsylvania

    Where can I find average "on-call" pay rate statistics?

    Thanks in advance,

    JerryinPA

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    I don't know that such a thing exists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    I don't know that such a thing exists.
    Hi cbg,

    It doesn't appear that my employer is legally obligated to provide compensation for my "on-call" time.

    So, accepting that for now, I may end up asking my employer to provide a fair and reasonable compensation for my on-call time.

    If my executive says "So, what are you thinking?", I'll need a response for him. I'm thinking that I need to know what the "typical" compensation levels are for those quality employers who do provide this.

    Somebody, somewhere must have an idea of "the typical"?

    JerryinPA

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    I do not agree that there "has" to be a listing of "typical" anywhere.

    What an employee receives for on-call pay, when and if it is required or provided, will vary by industry, by the employee's basic pay rate, by region of the country/state or even county, and any number of variable factors. I doubt there's even such a thing as "typical", let alone that any agency has kept statistics on it.

    On-call pay does not have to be broken out when employers report wage information. It would be included in the monthly or quarterly totals. No agency (not the DOL, not the UI office, not the workers comp carrier, no one) would have any reason to keep specific records of on-call numbers.

    So why should there be a "typical" listing anywhere?

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    Default Comp Time

    Most companies that want to compensate for your efforts just give you extra time off or are flexible with you taking an hour for errands during the workdat, etc. It's really a personal thing and not a legal issue.

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    What Jerry really wants is some guidance on how much he should be asking of his employer for all of his on-call time he has put in over the years (only it will not be retroactive, I hope, since that would be a problem).

    Bottom line, what is customary where on-call is a requirement?

    I did find one company's policy:

    On-call is a "special" premium pay whereby an employee receives 10% of his/her basic overtime rate for each hour of on-call duty outside his/her regular work hours.

    An employee who is on-call must be (1) accessible by telephone or beeper; (2) available to return to the worksite within a designated response time; and (3) in a physical condition that allows him/her to perform duty assignments.

    In the event of incapacitation or unavailability during a period of on-call duty, an employee must promptly contact the designated supervisory official to be released from on-call duty.

    On-call pay is suspended during periods of actual call-back to the worksite. On-call duty resumes after the call-back period is complete, if there is any scheduled on-call duty remaining.


    Hope that helps.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by demartian View Post
    Most companies that want to compensate for your efforts just give you extra time off or are flexible with you taking an hour for errands during the workdat, etc. It's really a personal thing and not a legal issue.
    Hi demartian,

    I've been at the current job for 14+ years now. The first full year that I worked there, the deal was that I was supposed to take off compensation time (1.5 X actual hours called in). At the end of the year, I had accumulated 84 hours of compensation time, since every time I took off, I got called in! And, you are probably guessing it.... Company policy was that unused comp time expired on the last pay period of the year.... I forfeited it all.

    That should have been all the wakeup call I needed!

    JerryinPA

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    I understand what Jerry is looking for and why.

    However, understanding that is not going to create a listing of "typical on-call statistics" somewhere that he can look at. If it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist, no matter how valid his reasons for looking for it.

    And I can't even remotely think of anyplace such a listing would be. As I explained, on-call wages would not be broken out and listed separately anywhere that an employer is required to report wage information. I doubt that the employers have even broken that information out internally. So where is that "typical" list of statistics going to come from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    I do not agree that there "has" to be a listing of "typical" anywhere.

    What an employee receives for on-call pay, when and if it is required or provided, will vary by industry, by the employee's basic pay rate, by region of the country/state or even county, and any number of variable factors. I doubt there's even such a thing as "typical", let alone that any agency has kept statistics on it.

    On-call pay does not have to be broken out when employers report wage information. It would be included in the monthly or quarterly totals. No agency (not the DOL, not the UI office, not the workers comp carrier, no one) would have any reason to keep specific records of on-call numbers.

    So why should there be a "typical" listing anywhere?
    Hi cbg,

    I owe you another apology. I'm not accustomed to the language specificity necessary to all things legal. I'm just an industrial maintenance technician.

    I didn't mean that some agency "must", meaning, "is legally required" keep typical figures. What I meant by my erroneous mis-statement is that "I would think that, considering the vastness of the internet, someone, somewhere out there, would offer some sort of clues as to how I can begin to figure what I could reasonably ask my employer for in terms of on call compensation".

    Sorry, but I'm new to this. Thanks in advance for your kind understanding.

    Jerry

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    I understand, am sympathetic, and no apology is necessary.

    But no matter where on the internet you go, since it is unlikely in the extreme that even the employers who pay on-call time are keeping records of the specifics, I can't even begin to imagine where you would find such a thing.

    As I said, there are variable factors up the ying-yang as to what an employer might pay for on-call time. I very much doubt that there IS such a thing as typical. I certainly can't even begin to imagine where you would find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottB View Post
    What Jerry really wants is some guidance on how much he should be asking of his employer for all of his on-call time he has put in over the years (only it will not be retroactive, I hope, since that would be a problem).

    Bottom line, what is customary where on-call is a requirement?

    I did find one company's policy:

    On-call is a "special" premium pay whereby an employee receives 10% of his/her basic overtime rate for each hour of on-call duty outside his/her regular work hours.

    An employee who is on-call must be (1) accessible by telephone or beeper; (2) available to return to the worksite within a designated response time; and (3) in a physical condition that allows him/her to perform duty assignments.

    In the event of incapacitation or unavailability during a period of on-call duty, an employee must promptly contact the designated supervisory official to be released from on-call duty.

    On-call pay is suspended during periods of actual call-back to the worksite. On-call duty resumes after the call-back period is complete, if there is any scheduled on-call duty remaining.


    Hope that helps.
    Hi ScottB,

    I must really be lousy at this, because you are able to tell me what I'm asking better than I can ask it myself! Thanks.

    Considering that my understanding of the law is that I'm not entitled to anything, would it be a safe bet that there wouldn't be any retroactive anything.

    Shucks, I'd be lucky to get any form of compensation for on-call duties, and not get fired for asking for it!

    Would it be in poor taste to ask where the policy that you quoted comes from? (Again, I'm new to this, so just ignore this question if it is out of place.)

    Thanks,

    Jerry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    I understand, am sympathetic, and no apology is necessary.

    But no matter where on the internet you go, since it is unlikely in the extreme that even the employers who pay on-call time are keeping records of the specifics, I can't even begin to imagine where you would find such a thing.

    As I said, there are variable factors up the ying-yang as to what an employer might pay for on-call time. I very much doubt that there IS such a thing as typical. I certainly can't even begin to imagine where you would find it.
    Hi cbg,

    Ok, so now I'm beginning to see that I'm "barking up the wrong tree"! Am I correct in what I think I understand so far?.....

    1) There will be no legal basis to ask for on-call compensation. I would only be able to point to the fact that some employers do offer it.

    2) There will be no "typical" on-call compensation data available. Perhaps I can collect a sampling of the stated "on-call compensation" practices of several employers, similar to the quote by ScottB?

    Jerry.

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    1.) Under the circumstances you describe, that's correct.

    2.) That is possible. But you're also not going to find a listing of companies that provide on-call compensation and what their policies are. To get that information, you're going to have to do a company by company search, looking to see whether or not they spell out their on-call compensation policy.

    It's not going to be an easy thing to compile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryinPA View Post
    Hi demartian,

    I've been at the current job for 14+ years now. The first full year that I worked there, the deal was that I was supposed to take off compensation time (1.5 X actual hours called in). At the end of the year, I had accumulated 84 hours of compensation time, since every time I took off, I got called in! And, you are probably guessing it.... Company policy was that unused comp time expired on the last pay period of the year.... I forfeited it all.

    That should have been all the wakeup call I needed!

    JerryinPA
    Ummm, Jerry, I have been operating under the assumption that you are non-exempt and entitled to overtime. Unless you are in the public sector, you CANNOT get "comp time." If you ARE in the public sector (an area I am not familiar with), I don't think you can lose it.

    Ignore your little problems with on-call pay. If you are in the private sector, and this comp time practice continues, contact someone, today!!

    You won't be able to go back 14 years, but two is allowed by the feds, unless willful violations are found, and then they can go back three years.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottB View Post
    Ummm, Jerry, I have been operating under the assumption that you are non-exempt and entitled to overtime. Unless you are in the public sector, you CANNOT get "comp time." If you ARE in the public sector (an area I am not familiar with), I don't think you can lose it.

    Ignore your little problems with on-call pay. If you are in the private sector, and this comp time practice continues, contact someone, today!!

    You won't be able to go back 14 years, but two is allowed by the feds, unless willful violations are found, and then they can go back three years.
    Hi Scott,

    Thanks, you're as good as gold! I'm learning so much.

    I work for a newspaper corporation in southwestern Pennsylvania.

    I get paid overtime. I am a Mechanical Maintenance tech... i.e., industrial mechanic.

    After I lost 84 hours of comp time 14 years ago, the management decided to start paying me OT, unless there was some reason that I wanted the time off right then... so I've just taken the pay for the last 13 years. So, I guess that the "comp time practice doesn't exist for me anymore.

    Since I'm understanding that the DOL wouldn't view my on-call requirement as severely limiting, I suppose that the best I can hope for is to be compensated for it. I'm on call just about all of the time, and to me that is psychologically severely limiting. I'm on vacation as I type this, and if my one and only co-worker technician gets stymied on something, guess what!

    Sorry if I seem to be venting a little. Through all my confusion today, I am learning a lot and I am developing the beginning of a plan.

    Thank you, thank you.

    Jerry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryinPA View Post
    After I lost 84 hours of comp time 14 years ago, the management decided to start paying me OT, unless there was some reason that I wanted the time off right then... so I've just taken the pay for the last 13 years. So, I guess that the "comp time practice doesn't exist for me anymore.
    Yep, the company decided to pay you in accordance with the law. Given the comp time you had was so long ago, you are SOL about getting paid for that or any other money owed you that dates back more than three years.

    Sorry.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    Default ScottB

    [QUOTE=ScottB;817841]Unless you are in the public sector, you CANNOT get "comp time." If you ARE in the public sector (an area I am not familiar with), I don't think you can lose it.QUOTE]

    I am a little confused by this part. Only because I have seen on-call technicians in every type of company public/private work out comp time with their employers (although it may not be an actual policy).

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    [quote=demartian;818012]
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottB View Post
    Unless you are in the public sector, you CANNOT get "comp time." If you ARE in the public sector (an area I am not familiar with), I don't think you can lose it.QUOTE]

    I am a little confused by this part. Only because I have seen on-call technicians in every type of company public/private work out comp time with their employers (although it may not be an actual policy).
    Many firm misuse the term "comp time". "Comp time" refers to additional time off instead of overtime compensation. This is only an option in the public sector NOT private sector (which most jobs fall).

    If the time is not legitimately compensable (i.e. certain on-call or non-compensable waiting time), the employer is free to create policy that gives an employee more than that is prescribed by law. I believe that is what happening in the scenario previously described.

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    Sometimes, companies in the same industry share this information among themselves, or if they are a member of an industry association and contribute to surveys among the members, this question MIGHT be asked. However, such surveys are not normally available to employees or the public. IF they do so, they are doing it so that their compensation packages can remain competitive within the industry.

    FYI, we are a municipal government and we don't pay ANYTHING for on-call time, because, based on the circumstances surrounding the time, it is not compensable under the law and the unions have not negotiated it in any MOUs.

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