Should You Get Paid For Being On Call?

Should You Get Paid For Being On Call?

When you arrive at work and start to work, you must be paid for your time. You may wonder about time that you spend while you are on call. Whether or not you must be paid for that time depends on who ultimately controls the time. If your employer places numerous restrictions on you while you are on call, you may be entitled to be paid for it.

Being on call at your workplace

The Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that employees must be paid for all of the time that they spend at their workplaces. If you spend time as a customer service agent waiting between calls, you must be paid for the time that you are sitting while there are lulls in the volume of calls. If you must respond in person very soon after you are called, you may have a good argument that your employer is in control of your time when you are on call.

Being on call outside of the job site

Many disputes over payment for on-call time arise when employees are on-call while they are on their off hours and away from their workplaces. Courts examine all of the facts in these types of scenarios to determine whether or not the employees are able to use their free time as they want.

If you are required to carry a cellphone but are able to go where you want and do whatever you’d like, you are not entitled to payment for your on-call time. If your employer places many limitations on you while you are on-call, you are entitled to payment for your on-call time. Factors that courts consider include the following:

  • Whether your employer restricts you to a certain radius from your workplace while you are on call
  • Whether your employer prohibits you from doing certain things while you are on call such as drinking alcohol
  • How frequently you are called while on call
  • What you are required to do when you are called

You must be paid once you are called

When you are called, you must be paid for all of the time that you spend working, including while you are helping clients on the phone with solving issues.

Get help from an employment lawyer

If your employer requires you to work during your on-call time and doesn’t pay you for it, talk to one of the experienced lawyers at Swartz Swidler. We may be able to help you to recover the wages to which you are entitled.