Since I’m limited as to where I can go while on call, is my employer required to pay me for those hours?

I work at an apartment complex where I’m required to have an on-all phone every other week. I’m required to respond to emergencies within 20 minutes. Since I have no idea when an emergency will happen, I stay on the property so I’m following company policy. The area where I live is very spread out and I find myself having trouble doing my day-to day activities. Are my employers required to pay for every hour that I’m on call since I’m limited as to what I can do?

Asked on March 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an employment law attorney. If you were required to be onsite, you'd have to be paid. If you had to respond within an hour, you most likely would not be--that's enough time to let you do most normal activities without interference. Reporting within 20 minutes may, depending on the facts, be sufficiently short a time that it would be considered to be effectively confined to the work site--but that is a very fact-specific determination. Therefore, the best way to determine if you may have a claim for your on-call time is to consult in detail with experienced employment law counsel. Good luck.


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