Should an employee be paid for time spent on phone calls from their employor?

UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012

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Should an employee be paid for time spent on phone calls from their employor?

My husband works 40 hours a week but he has a work phone. They call him all night and if he doesn’t answer he gets in trouble but they don’t pay him for that.

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Is he a salaried or hourly employee? If he is hourly, he must be paid for all hours worked, whether onsite or offsite, and whether during normal work hours or after. So if he's an hourly employee, if he spends, say, 20 minutes on the phone with his employer at night, he should be paid for another 1/3 of an hour. (And this time would also count towards overtime.)

Salaried employees, however, are not paid extra for working after hours, on weekends or holidays, etc. They have to do as much work as the employer asks them to, without 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.

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