Can my employer require me to be on call 24/7/365?

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Can my employer require me to be on call 24/7/365?

I am basically being forced to take a promotion that will require being on call 24/7/365. Is this really allowable? Seems like unreasonable expectations.

Asked on June 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Does this schudling violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement? Is it based on some form of legally actinable discrimination (i.e. due to your race, religio, nationality, gender, age (over 40) or disability? Are you employed in a regulated industry (i.e. truckdriver, airline pilot,, etc.)? If not, then you have no claim here. While seemingly unreasonable, a schedule such as you describe is legal. The fact is that most work in this country is "at will" This means that an company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Unreasonable? Maybe. Legal? Absolutely. There is no restriction on how long or how often employees can be on call, and 24/7/365 on-call is not even that unusual in certain industries or for certain positions: for example, I know several people in IT in the finance industry who are always on call (except for scheduled vacations) to deal with technical problems, since any down time or system errors can cost hundreds of thousands or miillions of dollars. So they can require this of you--you may choose to seek other employment if you are unwilling to commit to this.


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