Is not paid on-call time legal?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2012

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UPDATED: Jul 19, 2012Fact Checked

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Is not paid on-call time legal?

The company that i work for makes us do on call support. The support wast assigned to any particular tech. They would call us and let us know about the problem and we would help out. However, now they have assigned 7 days in a row per tech to be on call. If we need to do something dose days or on the weekends we have to find another tech to cower our on call days. If not then we have to stay at home or make sure we are in an area that has phone coverage and computers to receive the phone call and take care of the clients. This restricts me from going out of house on weekends.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


Aryeh Leichter / Leichter Law Firm, APC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An employee is entitled to compensation for all time he or she is "subject to the control" of the employer even if he/she is not actually working during that time.  Whether an employee who is "on-call" is "subject to the control" of the employer is a very fact-specific question and is largely dependent on the degree to which the employee's freedom to engage in personal activities is restricted.  Courts have identified a non-comprehensive, non-exclusive list of factors which include whether: (1) there is an on-premises living requirement (2) there are excessive geographical restrictions on the employee's movements (3) the frequency of calls was unduly restrictive (4) a fixed limit for response is unduly restrictive (5) on-call employees can easily trade on-call responsibilities and (6) the use of a pager or cellphone could ease restrictions.

If you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me by phone or email (213-381-6557 or [email protected]).

All the best,


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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