Isn’t the time I spend on the phone coordinating care for my patient considered worktimethat I should be paid for?

I am required to be on call after hours but I can go about my usual life (except if I get a page). My employer pays me $2 hour to carry a pager and cellphone. My employer says that they don’t have to pay me my regular hourly salary rate for time spent taking care of patients over the phone and responding to pages over the phone. I am a hourly employee.

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your employer appears to be wrong. If you are actually conducting work--i.e. doing functions that are a part of your job, for your employer's benefit--then, if you are an hourly employee, you need to be paid for all time spent doing those things, whether onsite or off, by phone or in person, during shift or after. Therefore, for the time spent actually coordinate care, taking care of patients over the phone, etc. you should be paid. Note that your employer does not need, however, to pay you $2 per hour just to carry the pager and phone; they have the option of making you carry those for free, then simply paying you, at your regular rate, for the actual time spent working after hours.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.