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On call and compensation Missouri

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  • On call and compensation Missouri

    I work for an in-home health agency. Each month, for a week, I have to take the after hours on-call phone (cell) from 5pm to 8am during the week and from 5pm on Friday to Monday 8am (if not a holiday).
    I am on hourly pay, not a salary. I, and the other's who take the phone during the other week's of the month, do NOT get paid for this. We are told we get to take comp time equal to the time we have the after hours phone, but it never happens. We are nurses and there isnt anyone to take our place if we are gone. Is this legal?

  • #2
    On-call time is only compensable if your personal activities are severely restricted. However, you must be paid for the time you are actually on the phone or called to a site to work (I was a little confused as to whether you just provide assistance via phone or whether you actually have to go to a work site).

    Private employers are not allowed to offer "comp time" in lieu of paying overtime wages to nonexempt employees. For this, you can file a claim for unpaid overtime with your state Dept. of Labor.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
      Private employers are not allowed to offer "comp time" in lieu of paying overtime wages to nonexempt employees. For this, you can file a claim for unpaid overtime with your state Dept. of Labor.
      I read it as the comp time being offered as a way of making up for the burden of having the cell phone, aside from hours actually worked. So the employer is saying that the employee can take some time off with pay at some future date, but not doing so to avoid overtime. (even though the employer is not making good on its promises). Personally, I would avoid using the term "comp time," as that would certainly be misunderstood.
      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ScottB View Post
        I read it as the comp time being offered as a way of making up for the burden of having the cell phone, aside from hours actually worked. So the employer is saying that the employee can take some time off with pay at some future date, but not doing so to avoid overtime. (even though the employer is not making good on its promises). Personally, I would avoid using the term "comp time," as that would certainly be misunderstood.
        Could be. I was not clear about the circumstances here. If so, as long as the on-call time is not restrictive enough to be compensable, adding to your paid time off balance (which is, in effect, what would be occuring) is perfectly legal and more than the law would require.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Posting reply to ScottB and Pattymd

          You are right Scott. It is was suppose to be used as a way of making up for the burden of having the cell phone, aside from hours actually worked.
          How it works is that we have the on-call phone so that if an attendant cannot, for some reason, take care of a scheduled client, we have to call through the list to find another attendant who can cover the shift time. If another attendant cannot fill the time at the client's, then the nurse has to go out as the attendant.
          It also is used for if a client is not going to be home, has entered the hospital, etc. they or a family member can call the on-call phone to let us know that a client wont be home and we in turn notify the attendant, so that they dont make a wasted trip to the clients home.
          As far as having a 'time off' bank. We dont have PTO as part of our employment.

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          • #6
            Then, I stand corrected and I also stand with ScottB.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Thank you Scott and Patty.

              I appreciate your taking the time to help me with my questions and you both have been most helpful. Thank you Scott and Patty, very much!
              Sincerely,
              Gail

              Comment

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