Texas Court Refuses to Expand Compensation to Cover All Time “On Call”
A Texas court recently ruled that all time spent “on call” is not compensable and that instead compensation is limited to time spent actually performing work.
In Wesley v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., the court was presented with a claim for compensation for all time that an employee of Experian had spent “on call.” Experian only provided compensation for time “on call” related to actually providing work services, such as answering customer calls and responding to their complaints.
In ruling for the employer, the court stated that the employer provided minimal restraints on personal pursuits. For example, the court noted that the employee was only limited to following the company’s drug policy while “on call.” There were no other major restraints on the employee. Furthermore, if the employee was engaged in a personal pursuit when they received work while “on call”, the employer was flexible regarding employee response time.
Although the court sided with the employer regarding how hours spent working were determined “on call”, notably the court separated overtime compensation issues from the remainder of the claim. Thus, employers are cautioned to follow all state and federal laws, rules and regulations pertaining to processing overtime related to “on call” employees.