Are On-Call Hours and Wages Regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?


There are many employees whose work days do not follow a regular schedule. In many industries, it is not uncommon for workers to work additional hours. An employee may regularly work overtime hours, have an atypical work schedule, or fulfill different responsibilities every time they work.

Another type of work structure that differs from standard hours is on-call hours. As a person who regularly works on call, you may be unsure about your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Your on-call hours may be treated as regular work hours, or you may be entitled to additional wages and rights while working on call.

What Does it Mean to Be “On Call?”

Being “on call” is a job responsibility for doctors, nurses, IT professionals, and other types of workers who are expected to be able to help at a moment’s notice. When an employee is on call, they may not be actively working the entire time but are supposed to be available if they are needed. Employees who work on-call hours must keep their schedule open to ensure they can begin working if necessary. Often, workers are expected to be responsive and easy to contact during this time.

Are On-Call Hours Considered as Regular Work Hours or Overtime Hours?

Every employer administers their on-call work differently. The schedule and payment plans for on-call employees varies throughout different companies. Workers may have a set on-call schedule as determined by their employer, or may constantly be expected to be available and on-call. These differences result in varied pay structures as well.

Employees who work on call may be entitled to overtime pay. If on-call hours equate to over 40 hours in a week, eligible employees should qualify for overtime pay. If an employee is working on-call as their regular hours, rather than working over 40 hours in a week, they may be paid their normal wage rate for their on-call hours. On-call employees may also be entitled to additional payment, such as receiving a certain amount of money for every time they need to go into work, speak with a customer or client, or take on a new project. The way in which on-call employees are paid depends on the hour structure and policies of the employer, and FLSA regulations are only considered if overtime hours are worked during the on-call period.

The Donati Law, PLLC legal team is available to answer any questions you may have about your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), wage and hour violations, and other employment law matters. We can help you file a claim against your employer if your rights as a worker have been violated.

Send us a message or call (901) 209-5500 to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.

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