On-call shift pay

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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On-call shift pay

At my job we are on-call 1 day every weekend. I work the night shift so my on-call hours that I am paid for are 4 pm to 8 pm. Since many of us on nights revert to a normal schedule on our days off, being on-call drastically effects our day since we could be activated as late as 8 pm. Should our employer being paying our on-call wages for the whole day rather than just 4 hours? It doesn’t seem

right that we are expected to keep a night shift sleeping schedule even on our days off.

Asked on September 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

What is "right" or "fair" is not, unfortunately, relevant. You only have to be paid when you are actually working, or are restricted by the employer to work location (e.g. if you had to stay in a "ready room" while on call). But if you are not working you do not have to be paid, even if the *possibility* of working or the interplay of being on-call and your work schedule affects your sleeping or leisure schedule. An employer does not need to pay for life disruption that may be related to work if you are not actually working at the time.

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