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Call pay for nurses in Texas

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  • Call pay for nurses in Texas

    I am a nurse in Texas working for a freestanding clinic. They require that 2 nurses be on call, 1st and 2nd. Two nurses are required to go into the clinic after hours and on weekends if necessary. This is for safety reasons in case it is late in the evening or the need for CPR or EMS. Both nurses were getting call pay $10.00 for weekdays and $15.00 for weekends. If they went into the clinic they are paid time and a half for 2 hours minimum. Several years ago they told us they were not going to continue paying 2nd call (10 & 15 )unless they went into the clinic and then it was only call back pay ( 1 1/2 time). We did not fuss as we thought it was some law and were more concerned about taking care of the patients instead. Now we are on call either 1st or 2nd every 2-3 weeks. We cannot make any plans to go out as the evening gets interrupted quite frequently and no one can have a glass of wine or ****tail for the same reason. We are getting tired but continue our jobs. The Policy & Procedure states that a person on call will receive call pay but that is as far as it goes. Is there any law covering nurses that are required to take 2nd call? I would appreciate any help you can give me.

  • #2
    No, there is no such law in any state. Generally speaking, being "on call" is not compensable unless your personal activities are severely restricted; courts have ruled that not being able to consume alcohol is not enough. Neither is the automatic time-and-a-half or minimum of 2 hours required (in Texas). So on those two points, the employer is doing more than is required by law.

    One question, though. When are are called to go in, how quickly must you get there?
    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
      re: Texas nurse call pay

      Some of the patients live close and might be at the clinic within 30-45 minutes driving time as that is what it takes us to arrive at the clinic but others live 1-3 hours away and we set the times to meet them in emergencies or if it is sever enough we send them to the ER.
      What about the policy that says they will pay call for carrying the pager and call back time. Is that not something we can present even if it does not state as to how many nurses are on call? Thank you for your reply.

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      • #4
        That's really not enough of an immediate time frame to require pay for being on-call; if it were say, 5-10 minutes, maybe. I don't see where the number of nurses being on-call is legally relevant.

        They can change the policy at any time, with prior notice. You aren't union, are you?
        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
          No.... not union but sometime I wish we were.
          Thanks for your help.

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          • #6
            Sorry I couldn't tell you what you wanted to hear.
            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
              If I'm following you correctly, it sounds like you are saying you need 2 to be on call, but they are only paying one..If so, are there "guidelines" to your work environment that dictate standards of nursing care?? I work in a certain hospital area, and their is "membership" to the US organization that represents us -like AACN etc, tho I'm not speaking this for myself..The standards for call according to the society which represents us (not union), indicates there must be 2 RN staff there together until the patient meets certain medical requirements..I would never want to be alone..Hopefully you have access to an emergency button should you need it

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              • #8
                RE: call pay for nurses in Texas

                Yes, that is what I mean. 2 are required to carry the pager but the are paying only 1 to carry the pager. There are standards that we use when assessing the patient and if the 2nd nurse is needed she/he is called in and will receive call back pay for the 2 hour minimum, but the 2nd person is not able to do anything "fun- glass of wine" during their time on call as they could get called in to work and by standards of practice we are not to come to work impaired.
                Thanks for your response

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                • #9
                  As already indicated, your activities are not severely restricted enough to require pay for merely carrying the pager.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Here is a DOL opinion letter re: on call pay that I hope is helpful to you:

                    http://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FLSAN..._14NA_FLSA.pdf

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