When is an employee entitled to on-call pay?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2011

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When is an employee entitled to on-call pay?

Our company required us to be on-call for 1 week every other 3 weeks. The company gave us a cellphone once we were on-call; our work site is about 7 miles from our home. During on-call, we can’t consume alcohol, we can’t everything we want, we need to wait and attend any trouble call during the wee hours. We are an hourly based employee. Can we get compensation on this?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If an employee must be on-call outside of the work place, then they may have to be paid pay for that time. The test is whether the employee has constraints placed on them such that they have little/no control of their time; that is they cannot use such time for their own enjoyment/benefit. In that event, the employee should be paid. Generally, the more restrictions that are on an employee, the more likely it is that they should be paid.

Based on the facts as you presented, to appears that in fact you should be being paid for your on-call time. At this point you may want to contact your state's department of labor for further information, or consult with an employment law attorney.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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