Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
An employee who is not required to remain on the employer's premises but is merely required to leave word at home or with company officials where he or she may be reached is not working while on call. Time spent at home on call may or may not be compensable depending on whether the restrictions placed on the employee preclude using the time for personal pursuits.
Appellant employees were employed as emergency medical technicians for appellee employer. They were required to serve on standby crews that were on call after hours and were compensated for more than hours actually worked. Appellants claimed that the entire time spent on call should have been treated as working time for compensation purposes. Appellee moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion and determined that the extensive amount of things to do while on standby was of legal importance because time was not work if it was used effectively for personal pursuits.
Under the circumstances, should the hours spent “on call” be treated as compensable work?
The appellate court affirmed and held that an employee not required to remain on the employer's premises was not working while on call. The legal question was whether appellants could use the time effectively for many personal pursuits, and appellants were able to use their time effectively for their personal pursuits. The court noted that appellants experienced less than a 50% chance that there will be any call in a 14- to 16-hour period, so their time may be used effectively for sleeping, eating, and many other activities at home.