If I work as a medical transporter, what are my rights to be compensated for standby time?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I work as a medical transporter, what are my rights to be compensated for standby time?

My employer routinely deducts hours I’ve worked due to what he calls standby time. I believe he is incorrect and this is a controlled standby. There are also instances were time for meals is not given due to demand. Is this legal?

Asked on December 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The exact facts are critical in determing when (and when not) standby time must be paid, so for a definitive answer, you are advised to consult with an employment law attorney in detail about your situation. That said, as a general rule:
* If you are more or less free to be offsite and to do what you'd like (e.g. recreation, errands, go out to dinner, nap, etc.) while on standby, subject only to being "on call" and having to respond if called in, that's not work time: waiting for a call while doing your own things is not work, and is not compensible.
* If you are waiting at the employer's location or otherwise at a location determined by the employer and are not free to go or do whatever you like, then it is considered working and you must be paid for it (if you're hourly, as you most likely are), even if you spend the time reading, watching TV, etc. When an employee is required to stay somewhere by the employer, for the employer's benefit or convenience, that is work. (Of course, the employer could also make you do something else productive during this time if it chose: e.g. clean the office or the transport vehicle, file, do paperwork, etc.).

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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