If I’m not certified as a CN but I took a job as a personal care assistant to an elderly woman, what are my rights to time off?

I understood that I would be living with her 24/7 but I thought I would just be helping the family who lives on the same property. I was told I would be given time off, but have only been allowed to take 5-8 hours off at a time to run errands. Can they legally deny me 24 hours off in a row when I am literally working 24/7 with no help from the family?

Asked on August 6, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they may: employers set the terms and conditions of work, and those terms and conditions can include not getting 24 hours off in a row and working essentially any number of hours in a week.

On the other hand, you would legally be considered an hourly employee. You must be paid at least minimum wage (or more, if that is the agreement) for all hours worked, including overtime (time-and-a-half) for all all hours past 40 in a workweek. And any time you are not allowed to leave the property or do as you want, but rather are restricted to property at your employer's behest and/or for their benefit is work time, even if you are not working at the moment. (To be non-work time, you must be free to do as you like and come and go, even if you have to have a cell phone with you to be reached in an emergency.) Therefore, if they are going to do this, they will have to pay you for your time, and if they don't, you could file a wage-and-hour complaint or a lawsuit against them for unpaid wages or overtime.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they may: employers set the terms and conditions of work, and those terms and conditions can include not getting 24 hours off in a row and working essentially any number of hours in a week.

On the other hand, you would legally be considered an hourly employee. You must be paid at least minimum wage (or more, if that is the agreement) for all hours worked, including overtime (time-and-a-half) for all all hours past 40 in a workweek. And any time you are not allowed to leave the property or do as you want, but rather are restricted to property at your employer's behest and/or for their benefit is work time, even if you are not working at the moment. (To be non-work time, you must be free to do as you like and come and go, even if you have to have a cell phone with you to be reached in an emergency.) Therefore, if they are going to do this, they will have to pay you for your time, and if they don't, you could file a wage-and-hour complaint or a lawsuit against them for unpaid wages or overtime.


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.