Does On Call Time Count Toward Overtime?
Understanding How On Call Time Affects Overtime Pay
It is important to understand what hours count toward 40 in a week in calculating overtime pay for non-exempt employees. "On Call" time is one thing that can confuse people in this regard.
If you are required to be "on call" at your worksite, or some other mandated location, that is paid time for wage and hour laws and therefore counts in calculating whether you are over or under 40 hours in a week.
If you are not required to be at a specific location and you are effectively free to use the time for your own purposes if there is no call for your services, it is not paid time and does not count for overtime purposes.
The question of whether you are "effectively free" to use the time is a matter of degree, and depends on factors such as the frequency of the calls, requirements of immediate or very short response times, the length of periods of inactivity, and to what extent the employer requires a response to the calls.
Learn more here about wage and hour laws in Massachusetts.
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