On Call Pay: What Employers in CA Need to Know

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It can be a trick to keep up with both federal and state employment laws, which is why most employers lean on the services of an expert payroll team. In California, a recent ruling in the court case Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc., affects how employers handle on-call time.

Examples of On-Call Requirements

Mark Rowley, Owner
RandR Payroll Services

On-call time is when an employer requires an employee to be available if support is needed at work. Based on federal law, there are times when employees should be compensated for this time, although the hours don’t always count when calculating Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) for hours worked.

An example of the need to have an employee on call is if a doctor is required to stay at the hospital in case medical services are required. Or, if an employee needs to be close enough to the workplace while on-call that they aren’t able to engage in personal activities.

California On-Call Pay

Based on federal law, the requirement to pay for on-call hours depends on the situation. But in the state of California, the recent court ruling changed how employees need to be compensated for this time. On February 9, 2019, the court determined with Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc. that employees need to be compensated for “reporting for work” if they are required to call in to check on the status of their work hours for the day.

Before this ruling, employees were only paid if they were physically at work. Some employers used the strategy of having employees call in to see if work was needed for the day. The court determined that employees should be paid for this time because of the inconvenience for employees. These employees face the difficulties of last-minute childcare arrangements, inability to secure secondary income, and a lack of financial security if no work hours are available.

Payroll Support for Your Business

Having a good payroll team makes it easy to keep up with legal requirements. Plus, you can organize the system to ensure that your employees are being paid for all of the hours that require compensation. If you have questions, contact our experienced team at R&R Payroll & Bookkeeping Services: (951) 296-0412.