Courts have roundly decided that an employee must still be paid when the shift consist of mainly of waiting around until work is necessary. As such, when you have to work an "on-call" shift, you must still be paid to the extent that your life is seriously inconvenienced by the job. Generally speaking, this means you must be paid not only for times when you have to hang out at your work place and wait for work, but also when the nature of the shift causes you to be unable to use time productively for your own purposes.
Courts usually consider the following factors:
How Many Calls An Employee Receives While On-call
How Long An Employee Has To Respond To The Call
Where An Employee Is Permitted To Go While On-call
What An Employee May Do While On-call
Conceptually, when on-call, you should ask yourself whether you could go to the gym or go to a bar. If the nature of your on-call shift would generally not allow you to, your employer may need to pay your for the time you're on-call.
In addition, in New York, when an employee is requested or permitted to report for work, the employee must be paid at the minimum wage for at least 4 hours (or the number of hours scheduled, which ever is less). So, when you show up for a scheduled 6 hour shift, but you are sent home after only 2 hours because business is slow, you must be paid for another 2 hours.
If you would like to see whether or not this, or other labor law protections, may apply to you, please click the button below to take the anonymous survey below, and one of the attorneys at the Law Office of Michael W. Wynn will get back to you regarding your options.
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