Q: In NY state, can my employer make me be on call for up to 9 hours every day without any kind of compensation?
I go into customer’s homes and measure rooms for my employer. I am employed full time with benefits but I get paid per “measure” ($16) and not by the hour. To be clear, I work for my company and am not an independent contractor. I get a W2 and benefits from them.
I often only get a few jobs as I’m in a rural area and am finished in 3 to 7 hours (Most of my time is driving more than the measures themselves). My job states that I most be “on call” and ready to take a job between the hours of 8 to 5 pm. So if I’m done by 12 pm, I need to stay at my home and cannot do anything until such time as 5 pm comes around. In the last year I might have actually gotten 1 job in this fashion (after I was done and home). They specifically say we cannot do anything (doctor’s appointment, oil change, etc ...) during the 8 to 5 time frame? Even if we are done by noon. With ZERO compensation. It just doesn’t sound right to me. Is this legally allowable?
A: Do you receive a w2 or a 1099 at the end of the year? In other words, are you working for the company or "working for yourself". Sounds like there may be misclassification if that is the case. It depends on the structure of the employment but is sounds like there may be violations as you should be paid by the hour (even when on call or driving between destinations of customers) if you are not an exempt employee or a proper independent contractor. Further information is required to properly make a determination. Consider a consultation for a case evaluation.
It's complicated as you will see in the link above. Good luck!
You should sit down with an attorney to go over all of your compensation, and then look at if what is happening is violating the hourly.
Minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour under Federal Law. In NY, it is between $11.10 and $15.00 per hour, depending on your employer and location as of December 31, 2018. There are limited exceptions to this requirement. If you are like most "employees", you are entitled to the full minimum hourly rate and are also entitled to one-and-a-half times your hourly wages for each hour worked over forty (40) hours per week.
So, if you are making less than minimum wage, or they are treating you as an independent contractor, it sounds like a violation or two may be happening.
And if you are an at-will employee, they can fire you for any reason as long as it is not against public policy.
At the end of the day, if you do not like the way you are being treated, you may be better off getting a new job. A lot of times wage disputes can cost goodwill with the company you work for, and end with you without a job, fighting to prove you did nothing wrong.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.