Controlled on call with no pay

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Controlled on call with no pay

I work at a company where every 2
months you are on call for a full week.
So, let’s say I work from 9am to 530pm,
then I am on call from 530pm till I go
back to work the next business day at
9am no regular work on weekends but am
on call. My company requires me to be
within a certain region, not allowed
drink, have company vehicle leave mine
at work, 2 hour response time to
calls, etc. However, they only
compensate for the time I’m actually on
a call. Is this allowed? From what I
have researched on ca labor laws, it is

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard-and-fast rule, but based on what you write, it most likely is legal. The key is the 2 hour response time: that is sufficiently long that, coupled with the fact that while you may be required to remain within a certain "region," you are not being forced to remain on-site, that you can do the vast majority of non-work acitivies (sleeping, eating, recreation, chores, family time) without significant impediment. That in turn means that you most likely are not so restricted that your on call time would be considered to effectively be work time, since it does not appear to be the case that you are limited to doing little other than working. You could contact your state department of labor and inquire into filing a complaint, but the odds are that they will tell you that your employer does not have to pay you under the situation you describe.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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