Can an hourly employee be made to be on call 24/7?

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Can an hourly employee be made to be on call 24/7?

And be in trouble for not answering the phone on their time off?

Asked on November 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an hourly employee could be "on call" 24/7. If the employee is called and has to work or show up at the work site, then he or she would have to be paid for the time spent working--including being paid overtime, if applicable. The employee does not need to be paid for the time he or she is "on call" if that means merely being reachable by phone, etc. if needed. An employe who does not answer the phone when called by the employer could be fired--there is no right to "time off" (unless you have an employment contract setting your hours or shifts) and your employer determines when you need to be work, not you--subject only to the employer having to pay you for all work done.


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