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  1. #1
    ned4spd8874 is offline Member
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    Question Hourly employee forced to keep company cell phone on during off hours.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    This has been an ongoing issue at my workplace and am just curious the legalities of it.

    Basically we are hourly employees; we all have company provided cell phones; we are on call every couple weeks. Well, I turned my cell phone off last night after I left work and sure enough, they were trying to get a hold of me. I come in today and was reminded that I am to keep my cell phone turned on even when I am off the clock. Can they do that? Is that legal?

    Granted, normally, most calls are only a couple minutes; and the time doesn't get added since it is so small. But it's just the principal with me. It seems like they are just taking advantage of us. It just seems wrong to me.
  2. #2
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, it is legal to require that. When you are "on call", how else are they going to reach you?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  3. #3
    ned4spd8874 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattytx View Post
    Yes, it is legal to require that. When you are "on call", how else are they going to reach you?
    Sorry, I should have clarified. Even we are not on call we are required to have our phones turned on. Last night for instance, I was not on call, yet I was supposed to have my phone on and be available to answer it when they tried to call me while I was off the clock.
  4. #4
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    We understood you the first time around. While you are supposed to be paid for all the time you work (for example, if you spend 30 minutes on the phone answering your supervisor's questions you should be paid for 30 minutes), simply carrying around a turned-on cell phone while you go about your personal business is not considered "work" under the law and is therefore not compensable.
    Last edited by eerelations; 10-29-2009 at 07:56 AM.
  5. #5
    divona2000 is offline Senior Member
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    pssst...OP is asking if employer can legally require employee to keep company provided cell phone turned on 24-7, even when not 'on call'.

    (Personally, I'd keep in turned on-set to vibrate. Gets less glares in movie theaters and restaurants).
  6. #6
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by divona2000 View Post
    pssst...OP is asking if employer can legally require employee to keep company provided cell phone turned on 24-7, even when not 'on call'.
    psssst...and the answer is STILL yes, it is legal.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  7. #7
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Okay, one more time.

    Yes. The employer may legally require the employee to keep his cell phone turned on at all times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of whether the employee is technically on call or not. Carrying a cell phone, regardless of whether it is turned on or off, is not considered work time under the law. ONLY time that the employee is ACTUALLY WORKING must be compensated.

    I hope that this is now clear to everyone.
  8. #8
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ned4spd8874 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    This has been an ongoing issue at my workplace and am just curious the legalities of it.

    Basically we are hourly employees; we all have company provided cell phones; we are on call every couple weeks. Well, I turned my cell phone off last night after I left work and sure enough, they were trying to get a hold of me. I come in today and was reminded that I am to keep my cell phone turned on even when I am off the clock. Can they do that? Is that legal?

    Granted, normally, most calls are only a couple minutes; and the time doesn't get added since it is so small. But it's just the principal with me. It seems like they are just taking advantage of us. It just seems wrong to me.
    **A: you have no vaid complaint.

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