MustI be compensated for my on-call time?

UPDATED: Sep 22, 2011

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MustI be compensated for my on-call time?

I am an A/C tech. I receive commissions on new unit sales and am also paid a flat rate book time (based on an hourly rate). The company requires me to be in uniform and available from 6 am to 4 pm no matter if they have work or not. I also have a rotating on-call schedule that overlaps making it impossible for me to seek part-time employment elsewhere.

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that if an employee must be on-call outside of the work place, then they may have to be paid pay for those hours. If the employee has limitations placed on them to the point that they have virtually no control of such time (i.e. they cannot use it for their own enjoyment or benefit) then that employee should be paid. The more restrictions that are on an employee, the more likely it is that they should be for on-call time.

Some considerations in determining payment for on-call time are: the amount of calls that an employee receives during such time (the higher the volume the more likely it is that they must be paid); do any of the calls require the employee to report to work or give advice or over the phone (if so, it is compensable time); how quickly must the employee respond to the call (the more immediate the employee's response the greater the likelihood that they are entitled to pay); are there geographic limitations as to where the employee can go while on call (if they must stay within a limited distance from work then such time should be compensated); and are there restrictions as to what an employee can/cannot do while on call (if, for example, there is ban on alcohol it is more likely that an employee needs to be paid).

So see how the factors apply specifically to your situation. If you think that you're getting short-changed regarding your on-call time, then contact your state's department of labor to file a complaint.

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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