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Florida on call question

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  • Florida on call question

    Hi everyone new here and have a question I hope someone can answer. I am a hospice nurse in FL,in a pool(employee but no benefits or higher pay) position. I must be available for 5 -12 hr shifts per month. We get our assignments the night before a shift. I was recently told that they could not staff me for my availability the next day at 8am to 8 pm, but now say that I am on call for that duration. They are offering no on call compensation for this and I must be available to work within 1 hr of call. Is this legal?

  • #2
    Yes, it is legal. It is unlikely that you would be due compensation for being "on-call" because you have one hour to get to the work location and you can go about personal activities during that on-call period.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. It has always been industry standard to pay $2 hr for this in this area. However I cannot go do what I wish and be on an assignment in 1 hr, I would have to be showered and in uniform with lunch packed etc as we cannot leave a home once we are assigned and must take our own meals etc, so basically must be ready to walk out the door if called. So it does not allow me to pursue personal activities other than in my home. I also cannot leave the immediate area or accept another shift from one of the other agencies I work pool with. So they can make me unavailable to another employer even if they cannot provide work for me? If true I will be seeking other opportunities asap as I have been canceled due to lack of work for the last 6 shifts and this has cost me around $1500 in lost income, sweet deal for them.


      • #4
        You can always try going to court and making an argument. The court might look favorable on the specific points you raise. Or not. The problem is that the legal starting point is a 1940s era FLSA regulation which does not have a "bright line" test associated with it. Instead we have a very loosely written regulation with 40+ years of court and administrative decisions in response to other employees who were not making exactly the same arguments you just made. I would guess that maybe 85% (give or take) of decisions in this area tend to go the employer's way. The sort of arguments that employees have successfully raised tended to be very different then your arguments. The most successful argument tends to be involve something like "report to work within 10-15 minutes" of the phone call. I have read court decisions where "report to work within 20 minutes of the phone call" have gone the employers way, although this is not consistent over all court jurisdictions. Regarding packing your lunch, there is no legal right to lunch at all, at least not at the federal level. And I am pretty sure that Florida also does not feel that employees have a legal right to lunch.

        I understand that this is not the answer you are looking for, but the problem with old law is that old law tends to be well settled law where most issues that can be raised have been well settled many years ago.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Thanks again for the reply. Not worth going to court as a nurse there are too many other opportunities where you are treated better. And word gets around around among nurses who treats you decent and who doesn't. Those who don't you can see their ads every week year round in the paper and since FL is such a transient state they get a steady flow of folks to train that walk when they realize the conditions they are working under. Seems a very costly approach to staffing and corp bottom line. But what do you do? You move on.


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