On-Call Time: Paid or Unpaid?

June 15, 2015

The time spent by an employee waiting to work may be compensable time depending on whether, based on all the circumstances, the employee can use the waiting time effectively for his or her own purposes. Some common examples are listed below:

  • When the employee is required to remain on the employer’s premises or so close to it that he or she cannot use the time effectively for his or her own purposes, such time is compensable.
  • If the employee is merely required to let company officials know where or how he or she may be reached, he or she is not working while on call.
  • If the employee is equipped with a beeper, this is generally not considered work time.
  • In any case, all time actually spent responding to any such a call(s) is considered work time.

Excerpted from the Michigan Chamber’s 2015 Employment Law Handbook authored by attorneys from the Miller Canfield law firm.

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