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24-hour Shifts California

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  • 24-hour Shifts California

    I work on for an ambulance company that is planning on instituting a couple 24-hour shifts, including the one I'm currently on. For a large region, the plan is to have two 24-hour units at far-flung, lower population density areas and two 12-hour day units, two 12-hour night units (working opposite each other) and another 12-hour day unit working in more populated areas.

    My concern about going 24-hours is handling routine, non-emergent calls and posting. Posting is the strategic positioning of units to provide equal coverage to the entire 7+ county area. Considering that there will be two 12-hour units on during the night time in addition to the 24-hour units, will the employer be allowed to perform strategic posting throughout the entire 24-hour period? How is the law written concerning sleep time? Can I be told to go sit in a parking lot during the middle of the night because one of the 12-hour units is on a call and moved for strategic posting? We were told that the reason for the 24-hour shifts was because they wish to have a stronger presence in an area they know has less calls and says it is cheaper to have a 24-hour unit than two 12-hour units covering these areas.

    I like the fact that 24-hour shifts will allow for larger chunks of time off of work, allowing for the potential of working the occasional side-job, short trips and taking care of more things at home, but worried about the unknown and want to know what the law says to make sure I'm not duped into my employer forcing me to do something they can't legally force me to do.

  • #2
    There are sort of two unrelated issues. One is can the employer make you work the time they describe (the answer is probably yes), and the second question is do they have to pay you for this time. That answer is probably also yes. The "do they have to pay you rule" is as follows:
    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...9CFR785.21.htm

    The "can they make me work these hours" is a yes, unless you can find a rule that says otherwise. I will not claim that I am expert on all exceptions, but I have never heard of this particular situation being an exception. The common exceptions are things like airline pilots, long haul truckers and minor children employees.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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