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Jan04

Pay for oncall work

In Ohio do we have to pay an employee, for being on call 24/7?

This question touches on an important issue. The U.S. Department of Labor reports a flurry of complaints about hourly employees working off the clock, including working from home or after hours.

To answer your question, no, there is no law that you must pay an employee extra merely because he or she is required to carry a beeper or a cell phone. It is very common for employees in many industries to be on call 24/7. An exempt employee need not be paid extra, even when he or she is called in to work. Presumably, the weekly salary offered takes into account the level of responsibility.

However, this trend can be a problem with non-exempt employees. As one expert with SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management says, “An hourly employee with a company blackberry or cell phone is just an invitation for a lawsuit.” He means that under the federal FLSA, an hourly employee must be paid for all time worked. That includes problem-solving by phone from home, as well as checking email, talking with suppliers, and any other work that may be done from home. There is no requirement that you pay the employee for simply carrying the cell phone, or being on call. But if the employee actually performs any work, he must be paid for that time. This includes paying overtime if the employee's total work exceeds 40 hours in the payroll week.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 at 9:32 am and is filed under
Compensation.
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