MustI get paid for on-call time?

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MustI get paid for on-call time?

My employer requires me to carry a cell phone 24/7. I do not get paid to be on call other than for the time I work. In the past I have missed a few calls and was threatened with disciplinary action. Is this legal since I am an hourly employee and do not get paid for on call?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If being "on call" means literally that  you are available to be called--for example, that you carry a cell phone,  and take calls (and come in when necessary)--then no, you do not need to be paid for being on call. You'd have to be paid when you actually work--so if you are called, and spend 20 minutes on the phone solving a problem, you should be paid for 20 minutes; or if you have to come into work for 2 hours, you should be paid for 2 hours. However, you do not have to be paid for the time you are simply carrying the cell phone; it is not work to carry a cell phone and be available if and when called.

If you miss calls, when those are part of your job, you may  be disciplined or fired.


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