Can an employer schedule for on-call without pay or a dedicated timeframe?

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Can an employer schedule for on-call without pay or a dedicated timeframe?

My schedule changes every week. I work 3-4 days a week and didn’t mind when the owner would call me for an unexpected job. But now he has put on-call on the schedule with no pay or timeframe of on-call status.

Asked on February 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can do this:
1) An employer can essentially have an employee be on call 24/7/365 (i.e. all the time)--they do not need to provide a defined time frame.
2) IF you are more-or-less free to do what you want while on call--you could sleep, rest, socialize, do chores, watch TV, exercise, etc.--and are not restricted to your employer's site or location (or a client/customer's site or location) then they do not need to pay you for being on call; they only need to pay you if/when you are in fact called in for a job. (If you are restricted to their site, so that you cannot do what you want while on call, that is different: in that case, the waiting time would be work time, since you are restricted to a location not your own, for the employer's benefit and at their direction.)


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