Is a non- exempt salaried employee entitled to be compensated for on-call time?

I work for a medical transport company which is a joint venture between a hospital and a community EMS. I work 12 hours and then I am on-call until the next operations supervisor relieves me. I have been in my current position for almost 3 years and been required to be on-call for 12 hours in addition to my regular 12 hour work day with no type of compensation. I am required to carry a company phone during these hours so I am able to be reached by phone, text message and company email during these 24 hours period. I have to respond to anything that has to deal with the operations of the business. This includes but not limited to: answering employee questions, giving the director of operations information, etc.

Asked on July 14, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Actual time spent  *working* while on call--not merely being ready to answer the call, but actually doing things like "answering employee questions, giving the director of operations information, etc." is time that should be counted in determining if you receive overtime pay--and how much--for hours worked past 40 in a week. You would not receive compensation for it except if and only to the extent it contributes to overtime, since non-exempt salaried employees earn overtime for more than 40 hours in a week but are paid the same amount weekly for their first up to 40 hours in a week.

As a practical matter, unfortunately, it may be difficult to capture, quantify, and/or fully document this time, and you may receive considerable push-back from your employer about it. If you employer will not compensate you if this work done "on call" pushes into overtime compensation, you may need to speak to an employment law attorney about your legal options.


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