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Should I be paid for being On Call? California

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  • Should I be paid for being On Call? California

    Hello everyone,

    I work at (name of employer deleted) in California and am scheduled as on call once to twice, weekly. Generally they do not tell me to come in but they do some of the time. The on call shift generally is 6 PM- 12 AM, I work part-time, at minimum wage.

    There are roughly 40 employees who work at the same place as me and we've never been paid for being on call. However, I've heard people say we're supposed to be paid for one hour of work, others say two hours of work, and managers say you have to be on call and call in so you don't get fired.

    I'd really appreciate some clarification from people who actually know the law, which is why I joined this forum.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by cbg; 04-10-2010, 07:40 PM.

  • #2
    Based on your post, it sounds like you do not need to be paid for being on call. Here is the law:

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/title_...9CFR785.17.htm

    29 CFR 785.17 - On-call time.


    Section Number: 785.17
    Section Name: On-call time.

    An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer's
    premises or so close thereto that he cannot use the time effectively for
    his own purposes is working while ``on call''. An employee who is not
    required to remain on the employer's premises but is merely required to
    leave word at his home or with company officials where he may be reached
    is not working while on call. (Armour & Co. v. Wantock, 323 U.S. 126
    (1944); Handler v. Thrasher, 191 F. 2d 120 (C.A. 10, 1951); Walling v.
    Bank of Waynesboro, Georgia, 61 F. Supp. 384 (S.D. Ga. 1945))

    If you just have to answer your cell phone (or call in to see if there is work) but can otherwise go about your regular activities, you do not have to be paid.
    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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    • #3
      It's too bad that I don't get to try and collect money that I'm owed, but you answered my long-time question.

      Thank you very much!

      Comment


      • #4
        You're welcome but what money are you talking about that you are owed?
        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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        • #5
          If you are actually called in to work, you have to be paid for that time. You are not "owed" any time for simply being on call if you are not working.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            I'm sorry, that was a poor choice of words on my part. I had been thinking that money for being on call was owed to me until I saw the posts.

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            • #7
              Oh ok, you were just hoping money was owed you - sorry, not in this case.
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                It might benefit the poster to look at DLSE opinion letter 1993.03.31 to see how California looks at the on call issue.

                http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/OpinionLetters-bySubject.htm

                There are 4 factors that effect whether or not the employer must pay for on call time. They are: 1. Geographical restrictions 2. Required response time 3. The nature of the employment 4. The extent the employer's policy would impact on personal activities during on call time.

                I am required to be available for overnight on call hours and because the nature of my work meets the above criteria I am paid for those hours whether or not I am called.

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                • #9
                  now however

                  at my company ff you are on call and your employer calls you to fix something or to assist with fixing something you are paid for that time... if it is deemed necessary to come in you are paid for the time you spent on the call travel time to... even if there is 4 hours of traffic... the time there performing the work and the time it takes to get home....

                  Comment

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