Our company is a California “S” corp that employs approximately 45 people.
We plan to hire a new “on-call coordinator” to answer the phone after hours (forwarded to a company-provided mobile phone)
We plan to pay a flat fee for the weekend for being “available” to answer the phone, plus an hourly pay rate for any time that the coordinator spends answering the phone and taking appropriate action in response to each call received.
If there are no calls during a particular 24-hour period and the coordinator spends no time at all except to send out a “no calls received” email, are we subject to paying some “reporting pay”, e.g., some minimum number of hours each day at the hourly rate just for the sake of the coordinator being ready to work, in addition to the “availability” flat rate?
Employment / Labor Attorney
Your biggest concern should be whether the employee is subjected to the company's control to the extent that he or she cannot do other things during the on-call time. If so, then you will most likely required to pay for all of the employee's time when the employee is engaged in that manner. This is a fact-specific issue and while there are general rules, there are many nuances that make the difference.
If you run a business in California, you should have an on-going relationship with a business or employment attorney to whom you can ask such questions, as well as one who can review your policies from time to time to make sure you are complying with all laws.
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