On-call / Callback Pay for Exempt Employees

We currently pay certain exempt employees a flat rate per week for being on call (includes work time in response to calls).  Most of the calls can be handled by phone.  The frequency and length of calls varies by dept.  We are re-evaluating the rates and how this is paid.  While I know that paying exempt employees for on-call time is not legally required, I know that it is becoming more common to compensate them  for this additional responsibility.  I can't seem find much information regarding the "going rates" or structure of on-call compensation, in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington in particular.  Any info would be appreciated.


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • There's a short article on this topic at  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_2_45/ai_60139693. It says that 48 percent of firms are now offering on call pay to exempt employees.  N.E. Fried and Associates, of Dublin, Ohio did the research.
  • Generally, I think the more restrictive the callback rules, the more likely the person will be eligible for pay, and how much pay they are eligible for (i.e., are they required to stay at a fixed location, within a certain radius of a location, do they have a set response time, are their activities restricted, how much?). If an on-call policy does not allow an individual to engage in outside activities and restricts their movement, they will usually be entitled to full pay. If the employee is allowed to move about freely, then they do not necessarily have to be compensated (or not as much), and sometimes compensation only starts when the employee is called.

    For some municipal occupations in Washington (i.e., firefighters), those who sleep at the firehouse oncall (and are exempt) are compensated at the state min wage.  I have heard of private employers who pay anwhere from $.95/hr up to $2/hr for on-call duty. Again, I think the rate really relies on what the job is and how restrictive the on-call rules are.  Hope this helps.

Sign In or Register to comment.