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On Call In Texas

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  • On Call In Texas

    We just had a staff meeting in Houston Texas, that said...

    "We are on call 24 hours per day 7 days per week, except on vacations. You must have your pager on and call back the office if paged within 20 minutes".

    Now that's news to us...none of us are on a contract....every weekend someone is on specific "on Call" for the weekend...they can not leave town and do not get any money for the on call weekend unless they do go in to work.

    In Texas, what are the laws for "ON CALL". To us this just seems un-fair.

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  • #2
    Whether on-call time is compensable or not is subjective, but generally speaking, it has to do with whether your personal activities are severely restricted. I am assuming, of course, that you are a nonexempt employee; if you are on exempt employee, you do not legally have to be paid any extra compensation at all over and above your regular salary.

    Can you be required to go in when you are called? Or can you handle the issue by phone? How often do you get calls? If all it is, is being available to return a call within 20 minutes, it is unlikely that would be overly restrictive, as you would be able to go about your personal activites.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Texas Law

      Texas law does not specifically address issues of "on call" or compensable time. Therefore, the definition of compensable time of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act applies. Under FLSA, compensable time is normally defined as "all the time during which an employee is necessarily required to be on the employer's premises, on duty or at a prescribed work place.'' Generally, compensable time are hours for which the employer must pay an employee.

      Depending on the particular circumstances of your situation, you may or may not be in a compensable time requirement. Mostly, as Patty said, it depends on whether your personal activities are severely restricted. For additional information on this issue, you may want to contact DOL's Wage and Hour Division at 866-487-2365. You can also review their website at to find additional information and DOL regional office numbers.


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