On-Call or Standby Work Pay Compensation

I am currently working as an Armed ATM Escort where I provide a safe and secure environment for the technicians servicing ATMs around the central valley. I am paid 45 per call, am paid .25 per mile i have to drive, and sometimes I am paid hourly if they are in need of a guard when a new ATM is being installed at a bank. I average approximately 20 calls per pay period. However my position requires me to be on call 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. I can do what I want while on call status, however if a call comes in I must contact the technician on my ETA which is almost always ASAP and must reach the site in a reasonable amount of time. In order to be efficient i must have my uniform ready and close by and it consist of a firearm, duty belt, body armor, boots, etc. I do not get paid anything if no calls come in which makes it stressful because some days my pay is good and some days not so good. My calls usually come in right before it starts getting dark and will do multiple calls a night. Some calls come as early as 9am I never know. I cannot plan anything because i might get a call and if i say i am busy I sometimes told he has nobody to cover and afraid they might lose the account and will plead for me to take the call. I have to drive my own vehicle, insurance, and fuel, however the .25 per mile is reimbursed on my check. I have been doing this for approx 5 months now.

Asked on June 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The key is what you write when you say that "I can do what I want while on call status." Yes, there are some limitations, like the necessity to be able to respond within a reasonable amount of time; but other than that, you can evidently sleep, socialize, read, watch TV, do chores, spend family time, shop, do errands, etc. The law holds that even with the obligation to respond to call in a reasonable amount of time, if the on-call time is otherwise your own, you do not need to be paid for your on-call or standby time.


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