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If you are required to be available to work during your off hours, you may be owed compensation for that time. Our office has investigated claims by employees who were required to take work-related calls while off duty, but not paid for the time. Additionally, we have represented plaintiffs who made claims that they should have been paid for their time spent driving to and from work, and even time spent in a hotel.

An employee who is sufficiently under the employer’s control, and remaining available at the employer’s request, should be paid for that time, in some circumstances. For example, a truck driver who is required to wait for a load while sitting at his workplace should be compensated for that time. He or she is under the employer’s control, and it is unfair to make employees wait to start their day because of conditions beyond their control.

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While an employee is on-duty, waiting time is generally compensable. While an employee is off-duty, but required to be available or “on-call”, the time during which the employer controls the employee’s time may be compensable. The issue usually turns on the extent to which they are free to use that time as they wish. To determine whether the waiting time must be paid, Courts consider the degree to which employees can engage in personal activities, and any agreements regarding on-call time between the employer and the employee. Another factor could be whether the employee is required to live on the work premises, the amount of time spent dealing with on-call duties, and other issues.

Generally, under the Federal Labor Standards Act, if employees are not required to remain on the employer’s premises but are merely required to inform their employer about how they can be reached and who can use their off duty time for personal purposes, then compensation may not be required. Our office has represented employees who spent the night in a company paid hotel room, arguing that the time spent in the hotel room beyond what was required to sleep and eat was effectively for the employer’s benefit, as the employee was waiting to begin their next shift. In another case, our office represented an employee who was not being paid for the commute time between jobs when doing so in the company’s vehicle and at the employer’s request. We have represented employees who were required to put on uniforms and check out required equipment at one location, but not paid until their arrived at the location where they punched in and worked.

On-Call Standby Time labor law office

One court has held that even time spent sleeping on a company bus that took employees to their job site was compensable time, if the employees were required to use the bus. As in most employment law cases, the specific facts in question are the determining factor in whether or not time spent waiting to begin work, or driving during the work day, are compensable activities.


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Labor Law Office, APC

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Modesto, CA 95354
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Labor Law Office, APC

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Stockton, CA 95202
Phone: (209) 546-7473
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Labor Law Office, APC

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Fairfield, CA 94533
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Labor Law Office, APC

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San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 403-2530
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Labor Law Office, APC

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Sacramento, CA 95821
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Labor Law Office, APC

5050 Sunrise Blvd., Suite C-1
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Phone: (916) 965-3100
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Labor Law Office, APC

1650 Oregon Street, Suite 210
Redding, CA 96001
Phone: (530) 338-3808
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Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: (213) 900-4976
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Labor Law Office, APC

1395 Ridgewood Drive, Suite 300
Chico, CA 95973
Phone: (530) 891-8503
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