What is the law regarding off duty calls?

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What is the law regarding off duty calls?

Our manager posted a letter that said employees must return calls or texts from her or the lead person, within a timely manner. This is so even when we are off duty and there could be disciplinary action if we don’t. What about employees’ privacy since time off is their time. Can they do that?

Asked on June 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have protection against having to accept off duty calls under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, as an "at will" worker your company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. Accordingly, you must return these calls and if you don't, your employer is well within its legal right to discipline you (up to and including suspension or termination). That having been said, if you are paid hourly (versus beig paid  salary), then you have a right to be compensated for all times spent on these work calls.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have protection against having to accept off duty calls under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, as an "at will" worker your company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. Accordingly, you must return these calls and if you don't, your employer is well within its legal right to discipline you (up to and including suspension or termination). That having been said, if you are paid hourly (versus beig paid  salary), then you have a right to be compensated for all times spent on these work calls.


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