Should I be compensated for participating in an on-call schedule?

I’m a happily employed full-time maintenance technician for an apartment management company. I’m on call once a month, Friday to Friday. We are not compensated for being on-call. If we get a call on Saturday or Sunday, they have been paying us the overtime. However, lately, of we get after-hours calls during the week, they are asking us to take time off of our normal schedule to prevent overtime. Should we get compensated for our week of on-call

and/or should we get paid overtime for any after-hours work performed. We have an apartment that will be vacated on Sunday and it needs to be cleaned for a new resident on Monday. I was told this ask asked to change my weekly schedule to prevent overtime and help prepare the

apartment. How much can my managers alter my schedule without paying me overtime.

Asked on April 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A company only has to pay overtime based on the total number of hours worked, not based on when or what day they are worked, or if they are after or before your normal shift. So if you work more than 40 hours in a workweek, you get overtime for all time after 40 hours. All that matters is total hours, not if it is "after hours."
Unless you have a written employment contract which sets or specifies your hours, your employer may set, change, and determine you hours at will, and it does not have to provide notice to you of doing this or get your consent/agreement. It is perfectly legal for an employer to adjust schedules to avoid overtime. For example, an employer which has an employee work more hours on days 1 and 2 can reduce hours worked on any or all of days 3, 4, 5 to avoid overtime; or if the employer knows the employee will work on the weekend, they can reduce hours during the week to compensate and avoid overtime.

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