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  • Maryland

    I live in Md. and the company I work for are in a hiring freeze. We do not have enough employees to cover some shifts or even take a day off. My boss has put "on call" in effect. Everyone has to work a week of "on call", I am part-time and they do not pay me that well for "on call", do I have to do this? Is this a violation of labor laws for part-time employee's?

  • #2
    There is no state that prohibits the employer from requiring "on-call", for full-time OR part-time employees. You can legally be fired if you refuse.
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    • #3
      Sorry but have to agree with Patty.
      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.


      • #4
        Sorry but it is legal. The law does not distinguish between PT and FT at all.
        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.


        • #5
          Agreed with all of the other answers. If we are looking at on call only:
          - The feds do not care if you are on call 24/7/365. The feds do not care about your private life. Or even if you have a private life.
          - What the feds do care about is "hours worked". Think of boiling water. You put a lot of heat into water and you still just have hot water. But at a certain point, the water boils. Assuming that you are non-exempt (subject to MW and OT rules), then the feds care a lot about just what is and is not hours worked, because MW/OT are very much a function of hours worked. Being on call per se is not hours worked, carrying a cell phone is not hours worked, and under federal law (FLSA) not hours is pretty much the same as nothing at all. So the trick is not whether or not you are on call, but whether federal courts and DOL would agree that your time is "sufficiently restricted" to legally be considered hours worked. This is a 1940s regulation with sixty plus years of court and administrative decisions. While the regulation is pretty loosely written, the various decisions over the years have created a set of rules. I cannot summarize the hundreds of thousands of decisions in this field, but generally having to report to work very quickly is a big deal in this area. Answering a cell phone is not a big deal, but having to physically be at a desk with a computer (even at home) within say 3 minutes would be a big deal.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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