Can an employer not pay on-call wages and cut from salaried wages for sick time?

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Can an employer not pay on-call wages and cut from salaried wages for sick time?

If a small business owner has designated an employee to be on salary, can payroll A Not need to pay them for the hours they work ‘on call’ what the company has designated as outside normal business hours? Also, B Cut the wages of the same employee when they call out sick? The business also has no formal policy for number of hours needed to work in a year.

Asked on March 22, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no pay for "on call" time (or rather: no required pay; an employer may voluntarily choose to pay for it). The employee must be paid if/when he/she is called and has to work, but not for the time simply being "on call", since during that time, the employee can rest, sleep, socialize, consume media (TV, reading, music, etc.), exercise, do chores--i.e. is not working.
2) If an employee calls our sick without using earned paid time off (PTO), like sick days, for that purpose, and/or without complying with a formal policy, IF there is one, for calling out sick (note: companies, do not need to have a call-out policy), then the company may discipline the employee, such as by cutting his/her wages or suspending or even terminating the employee. In the absence of the use of earned PTO or compliance with a formal call-out policy (if any) there is no right to miss work for illness, and so the employer may take action against an employee who calls out sick or misses work due to illness.


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