On/call compensation

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On/call compensation

I work part-time at a coffee shop and approximately
a month ago my employer made me sign a form
agreeing to be placed on-call for four hours in the
morning a couple of times per week when I’m not
scheduled to work.

I was told if I did not respond when called in I would
receive a derogatory comment in my personnel file.

On the days I’m on call I can’t do anything in case
they call me. If I do go out I have to take my
cellphone with me in case they call. I am not
reimbursed for my cellphone.

Is this legal?

Thanks
Mark

Asked on December 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employee must be paid for time spent at the jobsite, even if they're not technically working. However, things could be different if a worker must be on stand-by during off-site work hours. The determining factor is that the more restrictions an employer places on the employee's time, the more likely it is that they're entitled to be compensated. In this regard, courts look at the following: where the worker can go while on call (i.e. must they stay close to home/work); what they can do while on-call (e.g. are they prohibited from drinking alcohol during such time); how often is the employee called (i.e. frequently or pinfrequently); and what the emloyee has to do when they are called (i.e. must they immediately report in person after being called). Bottom line, the tighter the restrictions placed on the employee, the more likely it is that they must be paid.


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