Hi everyone.. need a little advice! I'm a member of a Maternal transport team that has been 6-9 months in the making. All this time has been spent training for our new positions. We went live recently and suddenly we are facing several issues. So far, we are a unit based team and we are all working 36+ hr/week in staffing and will theoretically just come out for transports. So this week we were hit with mandatory on call time 12 hr/weekfrom home on night shift.. and that if some days we are unable to schedule 2 transport nurses, the 2nd will have to remain in house at $2/hr in addition to their regular shifts.
Everyone is outraged, but hospital finance says they're not paying any more. Our supervisor thinks it is legal as long as our average pay for hours worked is above minimum wage. The US department of labor spells it out and I interpret it differently. Anyone have any experience on this??
Mar 31, '12
Your intrepretation is correct, but it doesn't matter, as the rule is bipolar as hell.
If you are "on call on the employer's premises" you are "working while "on call"", and need to be paid for those hours. However, DOL doesn't care what you get paid, they only care that your total income is greater then minimum wage. So long as you are compensated at a rate greater then $7.25 (or your state's minimum wage) when including the overtime calculation, you're going to lose the fight. If you make more then ~$380/week, DOL is satisfied.
Technically speaking, I believe there is case law that would support you being paid your full rate for the on-call working hours, but the hospital can simply adjust your base rate to make the weekly pay work out the same, which ultimately hurts you as now you make less when on legitimate overtime.
You have no options aside from the potentially destructive (union, quit, or "blue flu"). Sorry.
Jun 26, '12
My understanding is that as long as you are afforded a reasonable amount of time to respond, you are not legally entitled to compensation for on call pay. One of my former employers was sued over that very thing and emerged victorious leaving us all sans on call money just because we were allowed 30 minutes to respond. The lawsuit was in Federal court, so I don't know if or how state law factors in, but I'd say your probably screwed if you are in a right to work state.
Jul 17, '12
I would check with the NLRB. If you are required to stay" in hospital" (or on grounds), you should be being paid time and a half (if OT). If you are able to be at home, that's different. In the 80's - 90's I was employed by a hospital that put us (EMS at that time) on a "restricted on call" from 4am - 8am, the NLRB found in our favor and the hospital paid out BIG time for it (we got some GREAT checks for back pay!).
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