When Must My Employer Pay for Time On-Call? By Dan Atkerson on February 06, 2017

Most people are familiar with the rules covering pay during normal working hours. Far fewer people, however, know about the laws governing the hours you spend on-call. For example, are hospitals required to pay nurses for their time on-call when they're waiting to see if they're needed in the ER? Here are some of the considerations you should look at to determine if your employer should pay for time on-call.

When Employers Must Pay for Time On-Call

  • Employee contracts or handbooks – The simplest determinant for on-call pay is checking what it says in your employment contract. If it requires on-call pay, then your employer must provide that. Similarly, employers must compensate union employees with collective bargaining agreements requiring on-call pay for any time spent on-call.
  • Degree of freedom – Where can you go and what can you do while on call? How free are you to act of your own volition? The more stipulations an employer has over these considerations, such as staying within a certain radius of work or refraining from drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to offer on-call pay.
  • Probability of employer calling – The more frequently your employer summons you when you are on-call, the more likely they are to pay you. However, if your employer classified you as an exempt, salaried employee, then they do not have to pay you for performing exempt duties while on call.
Once your employer officially calls you in, they must pay you. Still unsure of whether your employer owes you on-call pay? Contact your local employment attorney to determine if you missed out on considerable wages because of your employer’s oversight.

Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who handles issues such as wage claims, discrimination and other forms of workplace injustice.

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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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