Should I be paid for my on-call time?

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Should I be paid for my on-call time?

I was a non-exempt employee, working as customer support. I was working on-call, every second week, 7 days, 24 hours. This was on top of my regular office hours. I had to respond to e-mails from customers and answers phone calls, also I had to monitor company connectivity system with customers. Should be my on-call time have been paid? How I calculate my time? Is it my responsibility to track my time?

Asked on February 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If you are monitoring connectivity, answering phone calls, and responding to emails, that is work time, not on call time. Only the time spent actually doing these things is work; but even if it's scattered around throughout the day, the time spent doing this is work time. ("On call" time is just being available for a call, an email, an emergency, etc.--but once you actually *do* anything, it is work.) So if during a 24-hour day, you went to work for 8 hours, then were on call for the next 16 hours, and during that 16 hours, spent 45 minutes total on the phone, on email, on connectivity, etc., you worked 8 3/4 hours that day, and if an hourly employee, must be paid for it. 
2) It is your responsibility to monitor your time doing these things. You could have done so any way that worked for you--even something as simple as jotting down the time you spend on a task on a physical piece of paper or in your phone's memo function. For example, if you received a call at 10:02pm, write down the start time of 10:02; if you finish dealing with it at 10:10pm, write down an end time of 10:08; you therefore spent 6 minutres on that call or any work associated with it; at the end of each week, total the minutes you worked. That's what you should have been paid for.


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