Many jobs have workers who have to sit around and wait to be called into work. This brings up the question about what an on-call worker can expect. The answer to this isn’t always as easy as what it might seem. One area where there is a lot of question is whether these workers should be paid or not.
When determining whether an on-call worker should be paid or not for their time on the clock, you have to look at the expectations of the company. The more restrictions and requirements the company places on the employee, the more likely it is that the employee should be paid.
There aren’t any firm rules for when the employees should be paid in these cases. If the employee has to wear a uniform while they are on-call or if they have to remain within a specific geographical area, there is a good chance that the employee should be paid. A rapid response time requirement or being subjected to several phone calls might also mean that pay is necessary.
Sometimes, employers try to put restrictions and requirements that seem to be just shy of those that would require pay. This is a bad deal for the employee. If you are an employee who isn’t being paid for on-call time and think you should be, having your case evaluated is necessary. From there, you can determine how you are going to handle the matter.
There isn’t any reason why you should be expected to be severely restricted without any pay on an on-call shift. Your employer should pay you the money you are due for the shift.
Source: HR Morning, “FLSA: How to make sense of on-call and waiting time,” accessed Feb. 13, 2018