As a well paid hourly contractor, can my company force me to be on call and not pay for the tiime?

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As a well paid hourly contractor, can my company force me to be on call and not pay for the tiime?

I work in network operations making 70/hr. My company wants for me to be on call. If I am called, they want to not pay me and instead give me mandatory flex time the next day. Do they have to pay me for my additional work since I’m hourly? This makes me think that I have to be available for them 24/7 and if they want to use my services, they will cut my time from under me. I thought salaried people would work more for same money but hourly contractors had to get paid for their labor.

Asked on March 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

To the extent that you actually perform work duties, then you must be paid for it. Work time is compensable time. As for being paid you for the time that you are on-call, that may be a different matter. In other words, you do not necessarily have to be paid for it. The law is that an employee is entitled to be paid for any hours over which they have little or no control (i.e. for time that they cannot spend as they wish). Basically, tmore restrictions an employer places on a worker who is on-call, the more likely it is that they are entitled to be compensated. The courts condisder the following: (1) how many calls the employee gets while on call (the more calls, the more likely they are entitled to pay); (2) how long does the employee have to respond (if they must report in immediately, they have a strong argumentfor pay); (3) where can the employee go while on call (if they must stay within a limited distance from work, then they are entitled to be paid); and (4) what the employee can do while on-call (if a company sets a lot of rules (e.g. banning alcohol), then the worker will have to be paid.


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