Can an exempt employee be forced to be on-call permanently?

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an exempt employee be forced to be on-call permanently?

I am a director of a social service agency for 2 years and am made to be permanently on-call for consultation, shifts or crisis management. Is this legal?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. Employers may require employees to be on call 24/7/365 unless there is an employment contract (including a collective bargaining or union agreement) to the contrary. Upper management and tech support, for example, are often always on call for crises and the like.

If you were an hourly employee--which is doubtful, given your title--you'd have to be paid for any work you actually do when on call; i.e. not for being available, but for when you actually are called up or in. But if you are an exempt salaried employee, you are not legally owed any additional compensation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption