What is the lawregarding on-call work?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What is the lawregarding on-call work?

I’m hourly paid, and at work there’s on call rotation every week to someone on IT team. It’s part of the job. I get paid only for the moment I answer the call and help employee with their issue. Let’s say I got a call from an employee needs help with password reset I bring my laptop and remote in to reset employee’s password. let’s say the whole process is 10 minutes then I get paid only for 10 minutes. Now, my boss said we are okay to whatever we want after work hours and get do whatever we need in our personal time. However, he expects a respond to ticket within 30 minutes to 1 hour, so whatever we are doing like grocery shopping on weekends. We are okay to continue our life normally but once we got home we try to help that employee.

My question, is that legit and how so if yes?

Asked on September 19, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is legal. While yes, as a practical matter, the need to respond does put some limits on where you can go or what you can do, you still have considerable freedom: you can watch TV or socialize, take a nap, cook or eat, do chores or clean, play a game, exerciseb etc. The law accepts that there are some restrictions from being on call but considers the control you have over your time and life sufficient that you do not have to be paid.

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