How many hours should I be getting paid from home?

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How many hours should I be getting paid from home?

I work for a environmental emergency company that works 24/7. We have about 80 employees. I am

currently the main dispatcher. I work 8 hour or sometimes more physically at the yard. I also take the phone home and dispatch from home after-hours for 2 extra hours overtime hours/time and a half. When I work after-hours I get calls when iam driving home. I get calls at home at all times. From customers needing our service, from employees, supervisors and managers. If a customer calls and needs our service I have to get a hold of a driver or crew right away to have them come into work at

what ever time is needed. I have to have the phone with me at all times. I can’t go to places a would like to go if there is no signal. I can’t drink alcohol. If I have friends over I leave the room to answer my phone to avoid noises and understand the needs of the customer. I constantly get calls that wake me up in the middle of the night. My dispatch phone number is on big boards in front of the

company’s building it is also on every supervisor’s business cards. It has my number and says 24 hour dispatch. Frankly, 2 extra hours for dispatching after hours doesn’t seem fair to me or heathy. I been dispatching for 5 years and since then I been diagnose with hypertension and stress. I need my job but can it be more fair.

Asked on May 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no compensation for being "on call," even if it imposes some limits on your life (e.g. that you can't drink, or have to stay someplace you can be reached by phone): even though there are some restrictions from the nature of your job, when you are not working, you can still watch TV, socialize, shop, do errands or chores, work out/execise, etc.--i.e. you have more than sufficient control over your own time that this would not be considered paid work time.
However you do need to be paid for *all* time taking calls, dispatching or scheduling drivers or work crews, coordinating with or giving status updates to managers, etc. They can't just arbritrarily say it is 2 hours of work, if in fact it is more: whatever is the actual amount of time you work from home (or otherwise offsite), you must be paid for it.


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