Wage-and-Hour, on-Call and mileage issues for ‘Exempt’ workers — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Wage-and-Hour, on-Call and mileage issues for ‘Exempt’ workers

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Q. I own a home-health agency. Although my licensed vocational nurses are paid by the visit, my registered nursing staff is considered management. They are salaried. Are we lawfully required to pay our RNs “on-call” pay or mileage? Although it’s not documented as such, we have taken these things into consideration when setting their salaries.

The answer to the question about on-call pay depends on the answer to another question: Are your registered nurses properly classified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? Just because they are “considered management” and are “salaried” doesn’t mean they are exempt.

In order for an employee to be exempt, it is necessary that the employer review the actual requirements of the specific applicable FLSA exemption and be able to show that the individual employee in question meets that exemption.

However, assuming that the staff in question does qualify either under the executive, administrative or professional exemptions, then you are not required to pay on-call time or mileage.

If they are nonexempt, then it depends on how tight the restrictions are when they are on call. It is possible to have such strict limitations on an employee’s ability to do other things while on call that they may be found to be “employed to wait” rather than “waiting to be employed.” However, the courts generally give employers some latitude on this issue.

Nonetheless, given the general concern with work/life balance issues, if you have concerns, you should have your specific situations checked out by an attorney.  

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