In California, “on call” employees should be paid for the time they wait to learn if they are working or not. If you haven’t been adequately compensated for hours you’ve spent “on call” you may be owed money.
“On Call” Workers are Entitled to Pay While Waiting For the Call to Work in CA
The time you wait for a call to work is called “reporting time.” If you don’t work or get sent home early, you are entitled to some pay.
California’s Wage Order 7 requires employers to pay employees ‘reporting time pay’ for any day an employee is asked to report for work.
In such cases, if the employee is not put to work or is assigned less than half of a usual shift, the employer is still required to pay some of their wages.
The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) document from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office says it best: “On-call or standby time at the work site is considered hours worked for which the employee must be compensated even if the employee does nothing but wait for something to happen.”
You may be owed wages if:
- You are expected to wait for a phone call to see if you are needed at work.
- You staff a mobile phone overnight or on the weekend for your employer, waiting for a customer to call, but haven’t been paid for it.
- You don’t know until a few hours before a shift if you’ll be working that day and are told to keep your schedule open and wait for the call.
About California’s Wage Order 7
Wage Order 7 was put in place to protect California workers from various types of employer abuse. A few exceptions aside (like CEOs, or outside sales reps who spend most of their time out of the office) it covers employee rights issues such as:
- Overtime pay
- Adequate lunch and break periods
- Suitable lunch rooms
- Child labor
- Minimum Wage
- Reporting Time & Pay
On Call Shifts Burden Employees
California courts have noted that on-call shifts burden employees. Employees cannot take other jobs, go to school, or make social plans during on-call shifts.
Furthermore, their family situation may require them to pay for child care services they may not actually need that day.
This is exactly the type of employer behavior which is forbidden in California. If you’re waiting to get called into work, and not getting paid for it, you may be entitled to pay for those hours.
What if Your Employer Calls it “Standing By”? Is That the Same as On Call?
Yes! You may be entitled to wages for hours you are expected to “stand by” for a call. It is the same concept as “on call.”
I think I am owed pay for my “on call” time. What happens next?
Call us today to schedule a free consultation – (800)-798-8498. We work on a contingent fee basis. That means you won’t pay us anything unless we win your case!
At Aiman-Smith & Marcy, our attorneys are experts in employment law. Our lawyers and staff work together and collaborate on every detail of your case. We take a unique approach: we view each case as a partnership with our client.