Human resource (HR) policies regarding on-call time must explicitly define on-call time, establish a compensation rate and conform with the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as state and municipal labour law.
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The Fair Labor Standards Act considers any time an employee is required to remain on the premises to be time worked. Each state has its own regulations regarding on-call pay, so it is important to check with the local departments of labour prior to writing a policy.
On Call Definition
The HR policy must clearly define what the company deems to be on-call time. For example, a policy could mandate that an employee be paid on-call time if he is required to remain at a certain location or within a geographical area. An example of a policy would be that if an employee is required to remain within five miles of the workplace, on-call pay would apply for those hours.
The HR policy must also clearly establish a rate of pay for on-call time. The state and federal labour laws require that all employees be paid at least the minimum wage for hours physically worked. The compensation rate is at the employers' discretion for on-call time. The employer does not have to pay the employee his normal rate of pay for on-call time. For example, an HR policy could say that an employee on call is entitled to minimum wage, and the normal hourly rate would apply if the employee is called into work.
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