If an employer requires a truck driver to be on call 24/7 unpaid, is it legal to suspend them for not answering their phone?

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If an employer requires a truck driver to be on call 24/7 unpaid, is it legal to suspend them for not answering their phone?

Asked on November 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" employment relationship, an employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes under what circumstances that an employee can be suspended. So uness your suspension violates company policy or the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you have no legal recourse (also no form of actionable discrimination must have palyer a factor in the suspension).

That having been said, you should be aware that if an employee must be on-call outside of the work place, then they may have to be paid pay for that time. If they have constraints placed on them such that they have little or no control of such time (i.e. they cannot use the time for their own enjoyment) then that employee should be paid. As a general, the more restrictions that are on an employee, the more likely it is that they should be paid.


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