What is the law regarding being on-call without pay?

I work for the Dept. of Transportation as a highway worker. I understand about being on call during the winter as snow and ice storms are predictable. Can they just say I am on call every other week, year round, as to respond to an accident or a downed tree and not be allowed to go to far from home or drink a beer? Can they dictate my free time like this without compensation?

Asked on August 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employee is to be paid for time that they actually work or for time "on call" when they are not actually working but are restricted to a certain location and unable to engage in their normal "off the clock" activities. In your case, you cannot travel far from home and cannot drink even a beer. On the face of it and based on the limited facts presented, you may have a claim here for additional compensation. What you need to do now is to get more information on your situation from your state's department of labor and/or consult directly with a local employment law attorney who can best advise you further. 

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