Is your employer required to pay you for on-call services?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Is your employer required to pay you for on-call services?

It’s not on site but we are required to start calling work am hour before our scheduled see if it is busy enough for us to come in. We must be ready for work at all times..and this usually goes on for about 3/4 hours. Personally this happens to me around 3/4 hours. This has been going on for years and I’m not the only one.

Asked on September 10, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You must only be paid for on-call time or services if while on call, you cannot at the same time be doing personal chores or tasks or engaging in recreation. If you could be watching TV, doing dishes, cooking your meals, spending time with children or spouse, etc. while checking in or being "ready" to work, this is still not work, and you do not have to be paid. Only if you are restricted from the majority of normal non-work activities during this time might the on-call time itself be considered work time and might you therefore have to be paid.

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.

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