Are there employee rights regarding being the only one on call 24/7?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2012

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Are there employee rights regarding being the only one on call 24/7?

I am paid appropriately for being called out but yet am disciplined if I do not respond. I am the only employee at my place of work that is on-call; there is no one else that is qualified to handle such situations. I am not a nurse or doctor and am free to do whatever I please after hours, yet get called in to work frequently regardless of personal circumstances.

Asked on October 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that absent some protection afforded in either a union agreement, employment contract or company policy, that you have no legal redress here. The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship (which is what you seem to have here), an employer is free to set the terms and conditions of the worklace as it sees fit (in turn an employee is free to continue to work for an employer or not, their choice). So unless your treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (which is doesn't appear to based on the facts presented), your employer's action is perfectly permissible.

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