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Compliance Assistance Resources

elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses

- FLSA Hours Worked Advisor

If you are not required to remain on the employer’s premises but are merely required to leave word where you may be reached you may not be working while on-call. However if the on-call conditions are so restrictive or the frequency of call ins is so high that you cannot effectively use on-call time for your own purposes, the on-call waiting time would be counted as hours worked.

Although your employer may require you to be accessible by telephone or by paging device, or establish rules governing use of alcohol or participation in other activities while you are on-call, you may still be able to use the on-call time to engage in personal activities, such as cutting the grass, going to the movies, going to a ball game, or engaging in other activities of your choosing.

The other consideration in determining whether you can use the on-call time for your own purposes is the frequency of the work calls you receive during your on-call time. If your on-call time is interrupted to such an extent that you cannot conduct your regular activities, you probably cannot use the on-call time for your own purposes. For example, if you are unable to finish a meal, read a story to your child or read a newspaper during the same on-call period, you probably cannot use the time effectively for your own purposes.

While on-call are you able to use your on-call time for your own purposes?