Is on call pay for tow truck opperators required in ca?

I work for a towing company in
california.This company does not pay on
call or standby time for the 24 hours
each day i am restricted from personal
tasks that are not able to be done from
home. I am required to respond to every
call and be on my way to it within 5
minutes or less. Are the employees and
myself supposed to be paid for standby?
We are currently paid 25-30 commission
but are not allowed to see our
commission reports… Thats another
story for another time.

Asked on September 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Whether an employee must be paid for "on call" or "standby" time away from the employer's place of business dependss on whether the employee is "subject to the control of the employer" during the on call time period or rather is free to engage in personal pursuits, subject only to the requirement that the employee can be reached if needed. To make this determination the courts look at the restrictions placed on the employee including whether:

there was an on-site living requirement;
there were excessive geographical restrictions on employee's movements;
the frequency of calls caused undue limitations;
a fixed time limit for response was overly restrictive;
whether the on-call employee could readily trade on-call responsibilities;
use of a pager/cell phone could lessen restrictions; and
whether the employee actually engaged in personal activities during such time.

For further information, here is a link to a site that will be of help:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they do not have to pay you for stand-by time, since you can do the vast majority of tasks, chores, recreation (sleeping; any chores around the house; cooking and eating; using the internet or media; socializing; shopping locally) that you could do at home, locally, or potentially by driving the wrecker/flatbed to where you are going, so you have it with you. This is sufficiently your time, so that they do not have to pay you. That does not mean that it's necessarily a good job or situation, but in our employment at will system, the usual rememdy for not liking your job is to seek another one.

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 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.