If I’m on call every other week and required to respond and be on site within an hour which limits my personal activities, should I be compensated for this time?

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If I’m on call every other week and required to respond and be on site within an hour which limits my personal activities, should I be compensated for this time?

Asked on March 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If an employee is actually called and has to perform work duties, then they are always entitled to pay for that time. Further, an employee is entitled to be paid for any hours over which they have little or no control (i.e. for time that they cannot spend as they want). The more restrictions an employer places on a worker who is on-call, the more likely that they are entitled to be compensated. Factors considered by the courts are: (1) how many calls the employee gets while on call (the more calls they must respond to and dispense advice, etc. on, the more likely they are entitled to pay); (2) how long does the employee have to respond to the call (if they must report in immediately, they have a strong argument to be paid for the time); (3) where can the employee go while on call (if they must stay within a limited distance from work, the they are entitled to be paid); and (4) what the employee can do while on-call (if an employer sets a lot of rules for them, such as a banning alcohol, then the worker will probably have to be paid).


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