What is the law regarding on-call pay?

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2012

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What is the law regarding on-call pay?

I wanted to ask about on-call pay requirements and rates. I had a position with a home healthcare agency and was on-call 24/7 every other week. My previous employer gave no compensation. I received all company calls. New clients, call outs, lost caregivers, complaints, medical emergencies, and alerts to clocked in/outs (minimum of 75 per day M-F, 5 pm to 9 am). I had to replace caregivers ASAP. I am currently interviewing for a similar position with another company and wish to be informed of my rights and a fair on-call rate to request prior to making a decision.

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are, as I assume, an hourly employee, you must be paid for all time spent actually working Being on call is not necessarily working, except and when you have to work So, for example: say you are on call for 16 hours; during that 16 hours you do paperwork for 1 new client which takes 40 minutes, deal with a medical emergency taking 30 minutes, and have to respond to a call out taking 20 minutes. That is an hour and half total; you should be paid for an hour-and-half of work.

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