What is the law regarding on-call wages?

I am currently employed at an automated car wash equipment service technician and am a full time employee. Due to the contracts with our company and the sites we service, I am obligated to take calls from 8 am – 6 pm Monday-Friday but the time after my 8 hours is not paid only if a call comes in I must respond to if it comes in before 6 and then am paid overtime to take the call. What I am being paid for is 800-430, but have to remain ready and available to respond to calls until 6 every work day. I signed a job offer of full time employment and am not a independent contractor or piece worker. Should I be paid for my time until 6?

Asked on October 7, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

An employer does not have to pay an employee extra money simply for being "on call" or for having to be available to take calls IF you are not required to be on site, but otherwise can go about your business chores, recreation, whatever. If you are not required to be on site, then you would only be paid when you actually have to do work, not when you are simply waiting to be called.
If you have to be on site, then, however, this would be work time restricting the employee to the employer's location for the employer's benefit is considered work, even if for some of the time, there is no "work" to be done.

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