Q: How can UVA require me to work OT without it being in our policy manual and HR knowing nothing about "Pink Star Days"?
I work for UVA Medical Center and our department just implemented a new program called "Pink Star Days". These are day that I am required to be "On Call" from midnight until 7am, without pay and is overtime when called in.
The UVA HR dept does not have information on this and their is not a written dept policy on Pink Star Days. However, our Manager tells us that if we do not come in when called, it will be count against us as an unexcused absence. When these on call days started it was 12:00am to 5:30 and last week our manager changed the time to be on call until 7:00am. I would love an explanation of how they can get away with doing this to myself and my co workers?
A: Your employer is free to implement new policies, including on-call requirements, without prior warning and without a written department policy. You must be paid for time spent actually performing work if you are called in.
However, whether the entire on-call shift must be paid depends on a variety of factors. Typically, if you are not required to remain on the employer's premises and instead are only required to be reachable while using that time for your own purposes (including sleeping), it is not compensable time. This also depends on how frequently you receive calls and how much of the on-call shift is spent actually working. Unless the requirements are unusually onerous, your employer does not have to pay you for the entire on-call shift. You should contact an employment attorney in your area to discuss the specifics of your situation.
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