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  • #2293669



    by rbassman7274 ·

    I have an administrative position, and recenly was provided with a cell phone and pager which i must answer 24/7. The upper administration has not offered any x-tra pay for this intrusion into my personal life. No matter if i’m eating, showering, swimming, opening christmas presents, or in church, I must answer this phone. I get alot of calls. Must they pay me more(even if i am salaried) if i’m to deal with these after work intrusions, what can I do about it, or am I stuck?

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    • #2690238

      Welcome to the world of middle management!

      by pgm554 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You have been given a life lesson of the golden rule.Them that has the gold,makes the rules.

      I would keep track of my on call hours and if they add up to a point where it isn’t in your interest to stay there ,look for something else.

      You can bring this up at your next review and if they are open to compensating for it ,strike a deal.

      If not,upon leaving the company ,make it a point to share this issue with your boss.

      You realize that when they lose people(employee retention)they are graded on this in their salary review.

      In some states(California)if your job description is not creative or managerial in function,state law dictates any hours worked past 40 must be paid as overtime.

      Check with your state dept of labor.

      • #2719341

        No Compensations, Thank yous, etc

        by nettech ·

        In reply to Welcome to the world of middle management!

        I know exactly what you are going through. I worked for UPS, suddenly was given another region and was on-call sharing support for the entire country. No extra pay. They primarily work to process mail at night, so my calles came in from 9pm to 6am – all night long. After 11 months, and me asking for additional compensation to no avail, I resigned. It took them 6 weeks to hire another “sucker”, they had to hire from another state, move the poor guy across the country. But at least they paid him 20k more – go figure. So quitting did nothing for me, but the next guy may have a little more luck in getting compensated for not having a life.

      • #2719337


        by dklandry ·

        In reply to Welcome to the world of middle management!

        Your salary is based on a 40 hour work week. As many of us salaried people know we rarely work that schedule. Employers benefit from every hour beyond that schedule, and some have come to expect it instead of appreciate it.

        You need to ask your manager if compensation follows the new duties? Many companies will just take a wait and see approach. If you don’t ask then they may not offer.

        Next, if compensation isn’t available will they consider flex time for you. If your a one man band working 24/7 there are a couple issues both you and the company need to address. How will the company handle you being on vacation or sick leave? Are there others in your department that can be placed on a rotation. Time off and away is critical to preventing job burnout.

        You should take the oppurtunity to discuss why this was initiated with your manager. Let the manager or your company know your not a machine, and have them explain (or try to) why its not important for you to have a personal life. It may surprise you once a personal dialog has been established that issues your concerned with may have completely slipped their minds in doing this.

        If all else fails and the company expects (or worse) demands this from you then you have to consider if this is a company you want to stay with.

        • #2718820

          Great Advice

          by cshipman ·

          In reply to Compensation

          This is the best advice that I believe you can get. Then if your not satisified with the outcome from this, it’s time to go job hunt. DKL has hit the nail on the head.

        • #2718799


          by sauerb01 ·

          In reply to Compensation

          To add to the above reply it is a good idea to document the amount of time you are spending providing this additional support. You would be surprised by how management underestimates the amount of time that can be expended on this type of support. Also make sure you document the time that the support call was received. Could help you out in any endeavors to recover compensation. Also there are government regulations that deal with this type of situation.

        • #2719566

          Government Regulations

          by govie ·

          In reply to Document

          I’m a long time federal government type and they are the worst offenders of extracurricular activities without compensation. In my organization, you can be fired for turning off your cell phone or not answering because you were in a dead area.

      • #2718769

        But what is adequate compensation??

        by matthew.kinch ·

        In reply to Welcome to the world of middle management!

        Recently I was in your situation where I was on call 24/7. I was somewhat more fortunate than you in that I recieved a measely $300 a month on call allowance. The fact is when that cell phone rings at 2:00 am and again at 3:00 am and again at 4:00 and you have to go into work for 8:00 am. What is adequate compensation? I did an analysis and it turned out that I spent up to 45 hours a month after hours dealing with issues. The $300 was not nearly enough for the loss of sleep and the intrusion into my personal life and the fact that when I did the maths at my hourly rate I was being short changed.

        My advice to you is if your boss is the kind of person you can speak to about it gather the analysis of the intrusion into your time and discuss it with him. If not and it becomes unbaerable then look to move on. Another thing is check your State’s labour laws.

        • #2718167

          We all need to sleep

          by technohoe ·

          In reply to But what is adequate compensation??

          Ah Yes, One of the curses of modern man. Beepers Cell phones Treos Wireless PDAs. Unless I am assigned to be on 24hr call or a special project requires it my cellphone/beeper/Treo goes off from 11 PM to 6 AM Daily. Of course there are always exceptions, that’s just the way it be.
          Good Employees are hard to find, just like good employers are hard to find. Since working in this field I have worked for 5 employers in 8 years.
          No job is worth your sanity, peace of mind ,health, or family. Take a few deep breaths, count to ten,Close your eyes and chant ” Ohm Mani Padme Ohm ” and they will think you’re nuts and leave you alone.


        • #2713359

          Adequate Compensation-Canada

          by itagent ·

          In reply to But what is adequate compensation??

          I am a Technical recruiter based in Toronto, Canada. As a point of reference, my main clients provide 1 hour pay for each 8 hours carrying the pager/cellphone. On a 24/7 support role, this provides for 16 additional hours pay per week (based on a 40 hour schedule). Should these resources be required to physically attend at a client site, they are paid hour-for-hour with a minimum of 3 hours payment. Understanding that this is an excellent form of compensation, you may be able to customize it to address your employer/client’s and your own needs.

      • #2719810

        This is very common in Middle East..!!

        by gops_bah ·

        In reply to Welcome to the world of middle management!

        I am an IT admin working in middleast east, i too a person hu shud attend the calls 24/7.
        Since i am an expatriate here even i will be sacked from the country (not only from company) if i fail to asnswer the calles and attend it even in midnight. it doesn’t matter u r in church , eating food or hanging wid ur girl friend. But it seems it is very common in dis Arabworld. Because dey doesn’t give any humanitical value to ppls personal life..!!
        labour laws r not aplicable… cause u will not be in the country to contact d labour department…lol

    • #2735181

      Thank you sir may I have an other

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You’re at that point in your career where experence would of paid off. (Been there done that) – Its the old Bend over – and say thank you sir may I have an other…

      What you can do – is the Cell Phone may of been in a dead spot of coverage – gee that happened to me pretty frequantly – Pager – never go the page …

      There are ways around it – you can check with a lawyer – what did your employement contract say about overtime? What did it say about carrying a pager and cell phone. If its that intrusive into your personal life – I would first investigate with an employment lawyer – then play that information to my boss – but check with the lawyer you may be in that gray area…

      If so I would start looking – and one of the questions to the next possible employer is – do I have to carry a cell phone or pager – and if so I am compensated for it – and at what rate… is there off time – where others get the calls…

      Good Luck …

      • #2719396

        I feel your pain

        by netgeek84 ·

        In reply to Thank you sir may I have an other

        I know exactly what you have to deal with carrying a pager for work. The people in my office trade off the pager everyweek. If your organization is anything like mine most of your calls are stupid little calls that need a question answered or the computer just needs a reboot. To lower our call volume we setup a system where noone pages us directly, they place there problem into a system and based on priority we are paged. If it is something that is a low priority and it is not normal business hours we don’t get paged. Maybe a system like this would help your call volume down and make these calls less intrusive.


        • #2719237

          Been there, Done that, got laid off…………

          by myndkrime ·

          In reply to I feel your pain

          Well when I first started with a my former employer they were about 45 miles away from my house. So if there were any issues there was a nice little drive ahead of me. But then it was even worse when we relocated to a facility five minutes from my house. They thought it was a given that I would be there with no problem. Not any of the other employees since they were now having to drive the 45 miles. Well I did my work, put up with the junk of being “Mr. Oncall” but then they announced they were shutting down that facility. Almost all of the other ones had a position at a new entity of the old company. But as for me I was without a job, just shows what working all the time gets you these days. LAID OFF…

        • #2717934

          Done that too…

          by excorpguy ·

          In reply to Been there, Done that, got laid off…………

          After working for 8 years for the same company, we got
          sold to an outsourcer. A year later, I got an instant
          message from my boss on a Friday afternoon if I had
          time to call him.

          Basic line of phone chat is how have you been doing?

          (Background: Just had a heart attack, three stents
          installed couple of months earlier…)

          Basic line of chat from boss:

          Well, you may not have heard, but we are eliminating
          your job as it is second level. (Note: Everyone else
          except one other person on team is third level. This
          even though both the other co-worker and I do the same
          daily work and have the same job performance ratings.)

          Not sure what is available via online job postings, but
          this is a great chance for you to advance your career.

          Any questions? No… Well, have a great

          Aside from being extremely tacky, this is a real kick in
          the teeth. I guess on the bright side, at least he did not
          phone me in the hospital while hooked up to IVs and an
          EKG to give me the news!

      • #2719320

        No Pay No Play

        by rmorin ·

        In reply to Thank you sir may I have an other

        No one – not even someone your employer calls a “manager” should have to work 24/7. Unless of course you are a policeman, fireman, doctor, nurse, etc. You need to be someone in that type of position to be “on-call” 24/7. Ask any of these folks if they work for free, I’m sure they don’t.

        Unless you are an IT person that is supporting police stations, fire stations, hospitals or a critical 24/7 operation (banking for example) there is no need to be on call around the clock.

        • #2719280

          Not even then.

          by robmc ·

          In reply to No Pay No Play

          No one anywhere ever should be expected or required to work 24/7. Maybe if their job title is “Door Stop” or “Paper Weight”. If a company needs 24/7 coverage, there’s a simple solution. Hire 4 or 5 people to fill that 168 hours per week. Not one.

        • #2717946

          In the Real World

          by txtopgun ·

          In reply to Not even then.

          “No one anywhere ever should be expected or required to work 24/7.” – Get real! Unless you are in an area where you can find another job quickly and they can’t find someone to replace you, not playing their game is not really an option. Sure, you can complain to the authorities, but that doesn’t necessarily do any good. Then what? They can always find a way to boot you. Nobody is perfect, including you. In my particular situation, I was told by the top 3 people in the company, individually of course, to do something for each them “right now” while at the same time answering 85 percent of the incoming calls. Can you see where that was headed?

          But then again, I was also in the Air Force for 22 years where it is just accepted that you are on call 24/7/365. Of course there you always get paid ‘extra’ for the overtime…NOT!!! I wore a pager AND a cell phone 24/7/365 for 11 years so I became pretty accustomed to it.

          You simply have to decide what your limits are for the job. Bottom line.

        • #2700886

          Even they get time off . . .

          by a.techno.geek ·

          In reply to No Pay No Play

          Unless it is an emergency situation, even doctors, policemen and firefighters get time off.

    • #2735056

      Here’s an Employment Legal site –

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Check out this site – they maybe able to answer your question …

    • #2735041

      Ask someone who really knows, a lawyer

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Call your state’s Bar Association or look in your
      phone book’s yellow pages under attorneys. Usually
      attorneys will listen to your question and provide an
      answer for free. They may charge a small fee if you
      get their name through the Bar Association. In any
      case you don’t have to be thinking about hiring
      an attorney just to ask for a legal opinion. It won’t
      do any harm and at least you will have credible
      information about your situation.

      • #2719334

        I agree, I am suing for this now

        by virtualgardener ·

        In reply to Ask someone who really knows, a lawyer

        Talk to a lawyer about FLSA. Fair Labor Standards Act. There are special exemptions for IT. If you supervise 2 or more people then you are probably out of luck and would be considered exempt from overtime pay. If you do not supervise, then you may have a case. I am currently beginning litigation against my former employer who claimed I was exempt from overtime for almost 3 years. This was not true. You are entitled to pay if you make less than $27 per hour and do not supervise or hold specialized degrees. You may be entitled to overtime even if you do. Only a professional lawyer will be able to tell you.

        • #2713286

          He’s right – FLSA is pretty clear. 27.63 per hour or else…

          by bndplus2 ·

          In reply to I agree, I am suing for this now

          I work for a company that willingly, knowingly violates wage and hour laws. No question.

          With regard to the FLSA, the amount was 27.63 when they wrote it, but I THOUGHT that it went up every year, with adjustments to minimum wage. Not sure – you’d have to check that. But the other poster was right – the laws are VERY clear. If you’re not making about 27.63 per hour, and you don’t supervise 2 or more people (more than 50 percent of the time, I might add!), you’re almost certainly supposed to be getting overtime, no matter WHERE you are (whichever law is more RESTRICTIVE to the employer is the one that is supposed to be in effect – so if the fed regulation is more favorable to the employee then the federal regulation is the one that will apply. BTW, your hourly is figured out by taking your weekly salary and dividing it over 40 hours – that’s your hourly equivalent.

          A few years back a law was passed in California (IWC 4-2001) which said that if I didn’t make more than 43 dollars an hour that I couldn’t be exempted from overtime. My company even hired a labor attorney that told me straight to my face that I shouldn’t be exempt – and they ignored it and said their other attorneys thought they could argue it the other way and stand a 50-50 chance of winning (which I knew was a bunch of baloney).

          I don’t get it – why don’t any of us know about this, other than (seemingly) me and this poster?

          I looked into it because they were working us like dogs (70+ hour weeks for almost a year), and when I confronted my HR dept about it, they told me the law was confusing and yada yada yada… Liars, every one of them.

          Here’s another twist: Governor Davis, as one of his last acts, signed a bill called the “sue your boss bill” where you can sue your employer ON BEHALF of others who have been misclassified and collect TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of the fines, back pay and penalties for all those other employees (I could be wrong on fines – look for yourself!). I could probably walk out paying off my house… Not sure why I don’t do it. I’m scared of being fired, I suppose (even though it’s “illegal”, that doesn’t stop them from doing it…).

          Seriously. Why aren’t more of us standing up and telling employers that take advantage of us to cram it? I seriously don’t get it… We need a media blitz, or something, because this is just ridiculous.

          I’m not being greedy, but when you have an employer that not only refuses to compensate you for responsibility levels as well as hours – and, hell, not even making you MARKET (I’m 2 grand above median for the entire United States – and I work in Southern California!) – that has to end somewhere. Why won’t anyone make any noise about it? It’s the LAW, people – do something about it!

          I know a lot of us are probably worried about the lack of work – I personally believe within a year or two we will be in demand again. If you don’t want to do something now, then at least DOCUMENT your time so that when and if the time comes you can sue your employer for not compensating you according to law. I know I am (55 hours a week minimum should add up to a pretty sweek chunk of change… For 3 years (normal statute is 2, but because I’d be filing civilly I think I can go back 3).

          Know your rights. Know when to say “no”. Remember, if they fire you for refusing to work overtime without compensating you, that’s retaliation and it’s ILLEGAL…

          If anyone would like to post me about this, please do so OFF LIST…

          Best to all.

        • #2713033

          Is on-call time considered ot by FSLA?

          by is girl ·

          In reply to He’s right – FLSA is pretty clear. 27.63 per hour or else…

          I am in the same boss expects me to be on-call 24/7/365 – even when on vacation. I am pretty sure that I qualify as a non-exempt salaried employee..but I suspect he would argue that I am exempt.

          I’ve emailed the dept of labor for clarification and more info on the laws regarding on-call laws and pay requirements.

          The biggest concern that I have at the moment is if pursuing my legal rights will cost me my job. Granted, a job that requires 24/7/365 sucks, but it’s better than nothing.

          Does anyone have experience with getting the DOL involved in a wage and hour dispute and it’s impact on your job?

        • #2713933

          Quick thoughts

          by bndplus2 ·

          In reply to Is on-call time considered ot by FSLA?

          Firstly, on call time is NOT considered hours worked, per se. IIRC, if the employer requires that you make yourself available within X minutes (meaning you’d have to stay local), then there is SOME sort of requirement for compensation. But that’s it. Hell, I’ve been wearing my pager 24X7X365 for almost nine years now… No extra compensation, it’s just “what’s expected”.

          A few things come to mind here, aside from being unappreciated by those we work for. First, if you’re exempt, according to the law, if you get paged and answer that page, even if it takes ONE MINUTE, you’ve WORKED for that day. Unless you are told NOT to call in on days off, that counts as a day worked. So, if you’re on vacation, you can legally not have to include that as a vacation day. Does it ever work out that way? No – not for me, at least. Recently I took 2 weeks of vacation and I ended up putting in anywhere from 2-4 hours EACH DAY because there was so much mayhem at work. When I got back, it was the same old story… I’m exempt, blah blah blah.

          Secondly, most of us are thin manpower wise, and they tend to stretch us as much as they can get away with. That means longer hours, as well as increased responsibility/knowledge. Part of the “agreement” is that we are supposed to get “comp time”, but if you’re busy enough to require even just 45 hours in a week, just WHEN are we supposed to take this comp time? I for one dread days off because I know what kind of a mess I’ll have once I get back.

          As far as getting fired for filing a law suit against them for denying you overtime, although that’s about as illegal as firing you for your sex, it DOES happen. If you were to file and they were to fire you, though, it’d better be for packing a gun at work, or something else substantial, as otherwise the timing would be questionable enough for them to have to drag some attorneys into it. Proving that they did it for that reason is hard, if not impossible, but it CAN be done.

          The best thing you can do is document EVERYTHING; every day I fill out a log with my overtime hours. To be fair, when I take off a couple of hours early, I also enter that (Friday, for instance, I left 2 hours early, although I ended up putting in 8 hours, anyway!). Also document whatever conversations you have about the issues; whom with, dates, times, etc… It’ll all come in handy when the time comes.

          I hate to say it, but the safest way to file a wage/hour claim is if you work for someone else… I could nail my employer for 3 years of back wages – plus a percentage of the fines for misclassifying me AND my peers! – but I don’t do it because I need the job right now. When I leave, for whatever reason, I can all but guarantee that I’ll file…

          Know your rights. At least you’ll know just how badly you’re being trampled, and it will help you to know what kind of information to gather to help your case. I hope that court is not necessary; after all, if my employer was standing up to their responsibilities just as I was, I wouldn’t have an issue. I never agreed to all these hours without comp time, and in fact I CAN’T agree to work without being paid overtime – entering into a contract based on things that are illegal is NOT a valid contract!

          If you’re in California, see and (section 1, A, 3, H) for more info on your status. SHOULD you be exempt from overtime? Take a peek. Also check the DOL web site ( As they say, knowledge is power…

          And, oh, did I mention that the new FEDERAL overtime rules are due to change sometime in August? Mr. Bush is trying to make it to where almost every person in the U.S. can be exempted from overtime.

          Because he’s such a nice guy…

          Stand up and be heard, people! Know your rights!


    • #2735035

      YEs and No

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Legally, if you are to get calls at home,. just for answering you can rebill 2 hours, if you work, 4 hours.

      in order to avoid this, your company needs a WRITTEN and signed Averaging agreement, otherwise they MUST pay you overtime or the 2+4 system.

      Call your local Emploment Standards branch and file a report.

      • #2735034


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to YEs and No

        In 2002, most states passed the wage averaging law, now MANY employers thougth they just don’t have to pay overtime anymore.

        In actuality, they HAVE to have a written and dated contract with EVERY employer under an averaging agreement that is then ONLY good for one year before a new contract has to be signed.

        They will often say they no longert have to pay you OT, but unless it is writing they MUST pay OT.
        As I said MOST states,. I believe there are a few in Central US that did not pass this law so it will be state dependant.

        I was able to reclaim an employees entire years wages from an office I was running in Oregon, when THEIR payroll was out of whack. I paid the employee properly and then reclaimed it from the company that pays me, they had to cough up an extra $52,000 is wages they had not paid me for her, or didn’t think they had to.

    • #2735031

      Look at it this way

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      If they paid you, even paid you the 25 cents per hour that covers it in some jurisdictions, your six is THEIRS! You have to answer that phone whenever it rings, no excuses. You have to be in range and sober 24/7. You think it’s bad now, but I bet there have been a few times when you didn’t answer — perhaps in a situation where you didn’t even hear it?

      • #2719417

        My 2 cents worth

        by deejay54 ·

        In reply to Look at it this way

        My wife works for a large corporation that is a government contractor. She frequently brings work home, answers phone calls and makes travel plans for people from home. She has been told by her boss that she has to put in for it. She also goes in early to catch up on personal stuff. She also was told that if she answers the phone for company business that she needs to put in for it. I don’t know if this is company policy of government policy. I work for a company that has vehicles on the road 7 days a week. I am sometimes on call for part of the weekend and I am paid regardless of whether my phone rings or not. I would check with your state labor dept and see what they say.

      • #2713900


        by stefanes ·

        In reply to Look at it this way

        Good point brought up. The phone rings in the evening. You are in the tavern, have already had 6 beers and are about to call a cab to go home. It is not the best time to be answering the cell-phone then.

        Best regards


    • #2735028

      Don’t carry it!

      by rob ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      They mentioned you had to answer it but did they mention you had to carry it on your person? I assume not. Unless they have it in writing, which if they did it would likely stipulate more $$$, although they pay for your use of it doesn’t mean you have to carry it on you all the time. Put it in a place out of earshot so if it does ring you won’t hear it.

      • #2718701

        What an idiotic post

        by scubaboy ·

        In reply to Don’t carry it!

        What kind of corporate n00b are you? “Don’t carry it” is a completely stupid answer.

        Should you have to do this? Absolutely not. But if you value your job in this lovely tech employment atmosphere, you had better carry it until you do the only thing you can do – grow a spine and tell your boss that it is physically impossible for you to be on-call 24/7. If he thinks you can and you get no resolution, go to his boss. SOMEONE there must have half a brain to know that this is a FLSA lawsuit waiting to happen.

        But to try to use some third-grade technicality such as “they said you had to have it, but NOT ON YOU” – you must be kidding me.

        I guess if you think this is a good defense, then perhaps you deserve protection by the Americans with Disabilties Act for mental deficiency!

    • #2735010

      Completely legal

      by thebooch ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      As a salaried employee at will, your employer has every right to require you to perform “other duties as asigned”. They can also, at any time, re-write your job description to include on-call. Ive done this as a manager. I have carried a cell and pager 24×7 for over 17 years. Welcome to IT.

      • #3368357


        by tomsal ·

        In reply to Completely legal

        I’m in the same boat as the thread poster…I am responsible for what we call “Afterhours support”, though there are 3 other IT folks here, I am the sole one who has the “honor” of being on call 24/7. I’m also the IT employee who has been with the company the longest, and I put in the same if not more hours at work than the rest — except for one other guy who averages about 30 mins more than me a day only because he has this need to come to work 30 mins before he’s scheduled too each day.

        I get no extra pay, I have gotten calls at 3 am, I have gotten calls when I’m trying to have quality time with my girl…etc…

        Very fun indeed …

        But I take the stance (been used to this for like 4 years now) that if I’m doing something VERY important to me personally, the call WILL wait.

        If they want premium service, they need to A) Be Understanding that I’m the SOLE person in the company who has this 24/7 support responsbility B) They need to pay me for the time and C) They need to realize that I’m human and I do have a LIFE outside of work.

        • #3368287

          Ditto Ditto

          by admin ·

          In reply to Ditto

          Sometimes they bring me cookies though :>

          Yesterday I even got a bag of Cherries fresh from the orchard!

          The 24\7 thing is much more agreeable when people appreciate you.

        • #2719436

          24/7 Only a Problem if there are Problems

          by chenowethp ·

          In reply to Ditto

          As long as you are not the sole support person for desktop applications for a large workforce, I’d live with it. If you work in a performance based salary administration and one of your goals includes keeping the system up 99.9% of the time, then being available to keep things running is crucial to you as well as those needing the support…you keep people happy, you keep getting compensated. My advice:
          1. Know where your cell/pages system works and doesn’t work… and know when to be where it does (or doesn’t)
          2. Share that 24/7 with another person sometimes… consider it cross-training
          3. If it becomes burdensome, then begin tracking how many calls/how much time that you are spend ‘off-hours’ and advise your employer of excesses. It may be time to look at investing in a systems solution, or as other have said, there may be some wiggle room in your schedule for negotiated time off.

          best of luck to you!

        • #2719362

          Good workplace burnout scenario…

          by cwolfsheep ·

          In reply to 24/7 Only a Problem if there are Problems

          Where I am at, and presently leaving as of tommorow, the situation is this…

          1. Boss takes calls 24/7, with few exceptions.
          2. Any time the phone at work rings more than 2-3 times (the system isn’t perfect), that also goes to the boss.
          3. Being that the boss doesn’t carry files or scheduling with him, he either has to ask someone else to look something up, or “pull from thin air” a schedule that may involve leaving the store manned by one tech (got more staff now, thank goodness), or making a tech work 1-2 hours before work, and expecting them to work the full day afterwards, with few exceptions (that usually falls to those who have to do work on a day off: a regular occurance; they almost never get that day off either).
          4. Techs are expected to keep cell phones active 24/7, and may get calls from the Boss at any hour if he can’t handle it. Techs will also call each other to resolve issues, regardless if they are “off” or not. If you’re clever enough, turning off the phone briefly will let you sleep in & get back to them in the afternoon.
          5. Monitoring: voicemail & work email can be checked by the boss if he wishes, and he does watch the store on weekends from home (via audio & video cameras) as he is able to. The monitoring leans heavily to the bench (i.e. employees), vs. the whole facility or recording where robberies could occur.

          “Rotation” of 24/7 support has been proposed, but not implemented. As it is now, the boss takes too much work on himself, and expects staff to perform as he would, and carry his demands when he is unable to. Unfortunately, it leads to him burning out, taking it out on techs in unprofessional tantrums, and techs leaving for other jobs before they spend a year in the place: maybe 3 have stayed two, then left. My time: 10 months. 24/7 can work, but it can’t be queued off a single boss.

        • #2719743

          Dont be a Sucker Boy

          by sharkbited ·

          In reply to Ditto

          Im just coming into IT and this issue has come about ..and I’ll be damned if someone isn’t gonna pay me for my time and support after hours .I cant beleive what I am hearing in these posts it seems like everyone is sitting back and taking it as it comes …STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES AND STOP GETTING PUNKED DEMAND WHAT YOUR WORTH AND DONT BE A SUCKER BOY…. STOP LETTING IDIOTS THAT DONT KNOW THE GAME RUN THE GAME

        • #2719738

          Dont be a Sucker Boy

          by sharkbited ·

          In reply to Ditto

          Im just coming into IT and this issue has come about ..and I’ll be damned if someone isn’t gonna pay me for my time and support after hours .I cant beleive what I am hearing in these posts it seems like everyone is sitting back and taking it as it comes …STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES AND STOP GETTING PUNKED DEMAND WHAT YOUR WORTH AND DONT BE A SUCKER BOY…. STOP LETTING IDIOTS THAT DONT KNOW THE GAME RUN THE GAME

      • #2719387

        Stupid is as Stupid Does

        by dketter ·

        In reply to Completely legal

        Some good responses here and I agree you need to load your ammunition with some advice from legal and State Labor Dept. I have no problem with 24×7 if it is done with sense of mutual respect, i.e. they don’t abuse this “privilege”. I worked for two high level engineering managers who were told to do the same thing. They told the VP to shove it! They knew they could not be easily replaced and had leverage. I would also ask what the company policy is for their executives. I know of CEOs who will not carry cell phones at all times. If you feel the company is out to use and abuse you, time to find another job. This is part of a larger problem in U.S. where we already work many more hours than other industrialized nations. I believe that given the chance, Corporate America would go back to 19th century sweat shops and we would all be working 7 days a week. The likes of Waksal, Lay, Kozlowski, Ebbers, etc. don’t give a damn about their workers. We must fight for ethical treatment and fair standards for everyone from the janitor to the CEO.

        • #3262523

          Get a union

          by alacroix ·

          In reply to Stupid is as Stupid Does

          the answer is pretty simple. Get a union.
          IT people desperately need to organize and get their due.
          google Washtech and Communications Workers of America (CWA)
          for more information

      • #2719359

        Sounds like semi-legal slavery

        by user@# ·

        In reply to Completely legal

        24/7? Even the military gets some time off! Isn’t there someone else this job can be shared with? Or are you now also on this job 365 past retirement, too (no vacation/no retirement)?

        Check the legality of this kind of position and your options.

        • #2719216

          Welcome to the Uh-O’s

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Sounds like semi-legal slavery

          The advent of the net and cell phones has created new scenarios in the field of communications which
          are now just becoming more apparent. Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. 24/7 availability is one of those. 15 years ago this scenario wouldn’t have existed except for
          perhaps emergency medical personnel and certain hardware techs. Even 10 years ago it was rare but now with the WWW, cell phones and Wi-Fi you can be
          reached just about anywhere, anytime, even in the shower or sitting on the throne. This has created a new set of conditions which we are still not used too and which we are all still adjusting too.
          Fortunately or unfortunately change is inevitable;
          which is not to say all change is good. Stand in the way of change and it will run right over you so we must learn to adapt. There will be abuses but with patience and fortitude we’ll get by this until new standards are implemented and some of which will be legislated. Of course this is of little consolation in the present.
          In my own particular situation we implemented a system whereby all time online is logged and is compensated at normal hourly rates for the first two hours after which time-and-a-half kicks in. Weekends are on time-and-a-half with double time for holidays and even triple time if the holiday is on a weekend. If the call results in a call out
          a minimum of four hours is paid for each call out at the above mentioned rates. I acquired this system from a Fortune 500 company that I was with until a few years ago. This is how they compensated their employees up to the middle management level; we in senior management were expected to be good little company men and take just our regular salaries. After losing a couple of weekends and a holiday to this crap; I waltzed into the senior executive VP and told him in no uncertain terms that I worked AT the company not for the company. I work for myself and they had created a system in which I was working as many hours as my employees but they were often taking home bigger pay checks than myself. It was a situation which I told them that I couldn’t tolerate but also would not put up with. There first effort to assuage me was to give me the corresponding time off but when I pointed out this would in effect give me 3 months extra vacation time they quickly came up with a compensation package that amounted to a 20% increase in salary plus increased benefits i.e.: stock options, better medical and dental, better pension, car allowance, etc., etc. I’ve always had the attitude that I work at a company not for the company but that as long as I had agreed to the terms of employment they were entitled to 100%
          of my efforts. When and if I came to disagree with the terms of employment then either the terms
          would be renegotiated or I would take my show on the road. I am fortunate that I happen to have certain skills that are in short supply and this makes for a fairly strong bargaining position.
          The company was, of course, not particularily happy with my stance especially since several others on my level, having seen what I had acquired for myself, jumped aboard my little rebellion or gravy train, as it were. I had probably labeled myself as a malcontent or traitor
          but there was little they could do about it as I was too hard to replace however, it probably put a limit on my aspirations for future promotions. This I could live with as I had never seen myself ending my career at that company. A few years later I decided to leave that company and freelance my expertice on the open market. One of my first clients was that company and in my first year I earned far more money for less time than I ever had as their employee. Now I have over a hundred employees of my own and I have to watch out for smart asses, like myself, who I have to keep happy and on the ball and I sometimes wonder if it has all been worth it. Who am I kidding? Of course it has.

    • #3368351

      Guess I am Lucky

      by dwdino ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      As the Net Admin where I am, “the buck stops here”. I to must carry the life sucking leaches of leash-hood.

      BUT …

      I have an understanding with my employer that any after hours time will a) be compensated, b) flex-time, or c) added to comp time.

      So maybe you cannot get dollars, but you might be able to wiggle b) or c).

      • #3368325

        Not even in mgmt…

        by gone to another field ·

        In reply to Guess I am Lucky

        I’m just a lowly tech. But, I’m required to carry the company radio over nights and weekends. When I asked, I too was shown the “any any extra work we can to stick you with” clause. Just part of big business today. Don’t like it, just take a walk, they don’t care!

        • #3368324

          Duties as may be assigned…

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Not even in mgmt…

          Refers to other kinds of tasks, not working outside of defined hours. Management is exempt.

          Perhaps I am lucky, but I always got both money for just carrying a pager or cell, and money for any overtime incurred as a result of a page or call(2 hour minimum). And we would not let one person carry it long term without having a backup person. This was true of a large corporation, a government agency.


        • #2719462

          send out your resume – cos are hiring

          by cepedajoe ·

          In reply to Duties as may be assigned…

          I agree with one of the posters before. Assigned or other duties do not include after hours requirements. Those are extra time and should be billed as OT. If you feel that the co is threatening you with firing then go to the Labor Dept and mention to them that you are working outside of the office and that you are not being compensated for it. The Labor Dept will start an investigation – they are pretty fast about it here in Washington state.
          In the meantime get your resume out as there is a strong drive out for new talent. You may get lucky and find a company that has a greater desire to challenge you without interfering with your life outside work.
          Good luck

        • #2719191

          Ya gotta love guys like this if your a manager!!!!

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Not even in mgmt…

          Read the other posts and you’ll soon see,”No guts,
          No glory.” With an attitude like this you should buy yourself lots of K-Y Jelly and bend way over ’cause thats where you’ll be taking it for the rest of your poor miserable life, such as it is. People might tell you that this is the way it has always been and always will be. What a crock!
          There is an old cliche that goes: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” Another one is:
          “The squeaking wheel gets the grease.” You won’t get anywhere by lying down and accepting things as they are put to you. The IT market is wide open with opportunity.
          First I would say start preparing yourself by dusting off your CV and making sure all your skills are upto date. Next shop that freshened up
          CV around. Third: Once you’ve had a few nibbles go in and tell your bosses to fix the situation or you’ll walk. Fourth: If their response is not what you want then do just that. WALK. Remember they need you as much as you need them so get up and get going. Oh yes, I know. You’ll start first thing tomorrow. What’s wrong with today. You keep puting it off and it’ll never happen. Don’t just sit there; MOVE.

        • #2718783

          Such comments!

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to Ya gotta love guys like this if your a manager!!!!

          While a bit terse in wording, it represents tough love.

          I wholeheartedly concur and want to re-emphasize the preparation to moving if it needs to comes to that.

    • #2719467

      Same problem

      by ozziedazza ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I have a similar problem..extra workload but no pay increase.
      For a while I coped, tried my hardest to answer all queries..and just about had a breakdown.
      Now , I leave the phone on until 1900 and then I turn it off.
      Weekends I do the same, if I am at a private function or shopping etc., I turn it off.
      My reply to upper management was that I was hired on a salary initially to work M-F 8am to 5pm, “would they like to negotiate an increase in my salary”, so far they have avoided the issue..but…I am looking for another position with any other company that does not require 24/7.

    • #2719466

      sounds familiar

      by chris_scott_uk ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      this happened to my collegues – at the same time as i was employed, I signed my contract in the full knowledge that i’d be on 24×7 call one week in 5. they had only had “maybe in the future” warning.
      it was pretty hellish time as we have a *lot* of systems to go wrong.
      eventually management hired night shift workers & i only get called occasionally.

      not sure what the law is like in the states, but in the UK, I think you’d have a case to complain about unreasonable changes to your terms of employment. a the end of the day, if you’ve no legal recourse and the company are inflexible, you can always walk…

      • #2719439

        I am an en employer and here’s what we do

        by ·

        In reply to sounds familiar

        We pay our weekend on-call techs a daily stipend just to be available. We always pay overtime for anywork over 40hr per week.

        We also provide flex time so that techs don’t get burned out;

        we also tell our clients that we’re only human and that 24×7 will mean a few hours to initiate a response during off hours.

        I would say that needs to first have a frank / professional conversation with his/her employer and then proceed from there — (i.e. if nothing is resolved, file a complaint and try to move on).

        Eventually the good employers are rewarded unfortunately not everyone is around when the situation finally corrects itself.

        good luck.

        • #2719282

          Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

          by youraveragemanager ·

          In reply to I am an en employer and here’s what we do

          Congratulations on walking a superior path.

          Perhaps for the sake of those not convinced of the advantages, can you provide how this has measurably helped your business? Perhaps interested managers armed with the positives that you provide can help improve IT support staff morale at their present (or future ex) employer.

          We all have listened to the general complaint that over the past several years the workload has doubled as staff reductions continue. This has left IT feeling anorexic, resentful, and unable to gain traction on new forward-looking projects. The non-technical user community has grown accustomed to low and slow service, while non-IT Management pursues unqualified decisions based on the pain relief pill recommended by the vendor. This is not good for anyone associated with technology. Those organizations that bought into the concept that IT is only a commodity will have acted accordingly. Any improvements in the economy for those employed in the IT industry will certainly cause the worst employers some amount pain through employee churn. One would think that stock analysts would be on top of this employee churn potential and rate performance accordingly.

          It does not matter if these perceptions presented here represent a reality, or are delusional. It pays to advertise, get your ethical behavior message out there. Perhaps the crowd will move your way.

        • #2718846

          Humour – Ya gotta love it.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

          The crowd will move your way???? C’mon get real!!!
          You’re hoping for an act of God!!! “Man will make his living dishonestly if he can; honestly because
          he must.” I don’t know who said it but it’s true.
          The only way the crowd will move your way is if it is legislated into doing so. That is why they have labor relation boards and/or committees; because they were legislated. There are a few enlightened employers out there but they are the exception rather than the rule.

        • #2701655

          Hum, good point, fall to base instinct or rise to ?

          by youraveragemanager ·

          In reply to Humour – Ya gotta love it.

          ? higher levels. Individuals have the freedom to choose their own path. Laws are followed more frequently because we agree with them, not just due to the fact that we want to avoid punishment. We can use base instinct or an enlightened approach in decision making.

          We express surprise, disgust, anger, and disbelief when we learn of individuals falling to base levels of instinct. We value integrity, family, community, creativity, and knowledge.

          People pursue what is in their best interest, and most of the time this is okay. Access to winning examples is an important part of the decision process.

          So, the question still stands, please provide those real winning examples. I am freely seeking information in order to proceed knowledgeably at higher levels.

          God or politics are not part of that request, though it is nice of you to remind us that we have and create them to fall back on.

          Best Regards to you in all your efforts.

        • #2718051

          Variation on your theme

          by eric.brown ·

          In reply to I am an en employer and here’s what we do

          My employer’s policies: Rotate the on call cell phone (each has it only one week a month) Daily stipend of $75 per day after 18th day AND we tell our customers that we bill for all support after hours…in fact we DOUBLE-BILL them! If they call, we know it’s a genuine problem.

          And, yes, we have a customer satisfaction rating of year-in, year-out of 95%.

    • #2719463

      Try talking to your boss

      by ferryit ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I carried a pager for about 5 years and yes it did intrude into my personal life with no extra pay.

      Talk to your bosses – I did and it was worked into flexitime so I could take the hours when I wanted to. I now can leave during midweek to do what I want to do and I prefer it.

      Life is actually better now and it is preferable to more money. Do not go in and be aggressive about the problem but discuss it as there is normally a solution.

      I received promotion 3 years ago and the flexi time is now standard throughout the company which increased morale.

    • #2719461

      Makeit WorkforYou

      by geoff ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Why not get paid for what you really do.
      Check out this site

    • #2719460

      this is what you get in the Wild West

      by elmonk ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Methinks that all of you deserve this kind of medieval behaviour by your employers. The U.S. society is so career and money oriented that you should all be glad to be at the service of your company 24/7.
      How about looking at starting up a trade union for IT staff? But they would have to be European style ones with real concern for the working class. As a side effect they could also take care of offshoring issues!?

      Cynical, I know.


      • #2719415

        To Socilist for the Wild West

        by jimhm ·

        In reply to this is what you get in the Wild West

        Too socialist for us “CowBoys/CowGirls” over here in the Wild-Wild West… We believe in the Open Range – you are responsible for your own conditions… Not the Government – not a European Style Union or Unino –

        Don’t get me wrong – There is a need for a union to protect workers – but they also need to ensure the health of the company at the same time – These two goals are not multuly-exclusive they can be achieved together. The CEO and executive officers are not the money makers of the corporation (they don’t realize that) – they are but figure heads – without the workers they have no income – without the workers they have no product – without the workers they have no job…

        The same thing can’t be said about No Executives – No company …. The College boy/girl executive of today is all driven on Greed how to steal the company blind…

        Every so often – one must stand up and except the risk of saying No! – No doing that! – If others join you – great – but someday you have to make a stand… Just like in the Old Wild West days.

    • #2719458

      Stealth Wallpaper

      by stu@school-house ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Thought you could take a side-ways view of the problem.
      BAE systems here in the UK have developed ‘wallpaper’ that blocks WiFi signals to secure networks, wont be long before they can tweak it to block mobile trafic too.
      Wouldn’t it be a shame if you couldn’t get reception at home, no matter how many types of phone they try you with?
      Link below if anyone’s interested:,39024663,39121501,00.htm

      • #2719446


        by pioneering ·

        In reply to Stealth Wallpaper

        You SHEEP!!!!

        If you put up with this nonsense, you deserve what you get.

        Just say “NO”. This applies to everyone.
        Hand the cell phone back and tell them “NO!”.

        It’s not “the way it is in IT”.
        Don’t let them exploit you.
        This means YOU! ALL OF YOU!

        You’re all SHEEP and you disgust me!

        • #2719443


          by stu@school-house ·

          In reply to SHEEP!!!!

          Must be nice to be so financially stable you can afford to quit/get fired.
          Let us all know how you managed it, maybe write a book, i’d buy it.

        • #2718747

          BAAAA, BAAAAA, BAAAAA!!!!

          by pioneering ·

          In reply to Re:SHEEP

          A sheep speaks!!!

          Is that what you’re afraid of?
          Losing your pathetic excuse for a job?!?

          You were looking for work when you took your current job, weren’t you?

          So, take your cajones back from your master, eh boss, and go out and find a better job.


        • #2719420

          Sheep – Dip –

          by jimhm ·

          In reply to SHEEP!!!!

          The reason companies can get away with it is – because they can – if as poster said – Just say “No” – but you must be willing to risk your job. So you either bendover to their demands or take the risk of Termination – Layoff – No More Promotions – Demotion …

          I don’t know if I would call everyone a Sheep – because everyone has their own priorities and needs… markets in some areas are bad – others are an open market and you can find a job quick.. (In the open market you normall have a better working condition!)

          So while I agree – you only get what you permit – I don’t think I would call everyone sheep..

        • #2719301

          How to avoid “sheepdom”

          by cmb from omaha ·

          In reply to Sheep – Dip –

          1. Keep upgrading your skills any way you can. Community colleges can be a great and fairly inexpensive source for this, not that I’m prejudiced by working for one!
          2. Network, network, network. This can be done easily, even by the shy: no cocktail party attendance is required. For example, keep in touch with former coworkers, classmates, teachers, etc. through email. Direct them to a web site or an event that might interest them. Drop them a line occasionally just to say “hi” and ask what they are working on these days.
          3. Keep your resume up to date. You never know when someone is going to ask you for it.
          4. Don’t get so deeply into (avoidable)debt that you can’t afford to be unemployed for a few months. If at all possible, save up some “go to hell” money.
          5. If your employer insists on abusing you, you will be able to exercise the “go to hell” option as described above!

        • #2719298

          Indeed….a little passive aggression might be in order

          by is girl ·

          In reply to Sheep – Dip –

          I tend to agree with the posters who suggest that the phone might be afflicted with a dead battery, be out of range, etc once in a while – just to make the point that the companies informatl policy is not working for all concerned.

          As the only IT person in my company, I am unofficially on-call. However, since I have no agreement and get no compensation for providing this service, I try very hard to make the rules. I feel perfectly free to screen calls and return calls that I consider critical, can’t wait issues. I do not answer the phone or return calls that come in very early or very late or when I am involved in a personal activity that I don’t care to have interrupted. I let the call go to voice mail and return it at my convience – if it’s an issue that can’t wait until normal working hours.

          In my opinion, we all have to set the boundries – even if it means risking the job. It is completely unreasonable and impossible to truly be on call 24/7. If your company wants to compensate you and set up a workable, formal agreement….sit down and negotiate.

          Otherwise, you are allowing yourself to be abused.

        • #2719202

          The concrete had been poured.

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to Indeed….a little passive aggression might be in order

          While your bottom line is a critical consideration, what value do you place on your self esteem and self respect. You are obviously troubled by this for you raised the issue in this forum. Additionally, I would suspect that you are not comfortable that talking to your manager/supervisor may be fruitful – with respect alleviating the 24/7 ball and chain.

          Whatever of the aformentioned approachs you decide to entertain (squeaky wheel, resistant, resign, confer with manager, seek more compensation, take your lumps,…), the concrete had been poured. It will set. Before it dries, be bold in some form and create an acceptable and workable climate – expect some respectiful accord – or get out while you can for non closure will tangibly kill you.

        • #2718746


          by pioneering ·

          In reply to Sheep – Dip –

          Hi Jim. (I know you and respect your opinion.)

          Jim, the culture must change and we are the ones responsible for changing it. That means all of us. Like the ball game where no one will sit down because everyone else is standing up. It must begin with one person (that’d be me) and go from there. As long as even one person is willing to be exploited, we will ALL be treated like sheep. The solution is simple: don’t act like a sheep. Yes, risk your job. Risk financial so-called “security”. Risk putting yuour family in the halfway house. I say grow some cojones and take the risks. I guarantee it’s not as bad as those sheep imagine.

        • #2719353

          Thank for sharing..

          by billdprat ·

          In reply to SHEEP!!!!

          So much for the lunatic fringe.

        • #2718739

          Another SHEEP Responds!!

          by pioneering ·

          In reply to Thank for sharing..

          Another SHEEP opens it’s mouth!

          Tell me, TELL ME it is sane to allow oneself to be exploited like a slave. And TELL ME it is also sane to take the abuse lying down!

          How DARE you!!! You disgusting wimp!

          If an appropriate response to such obvious exploitation makes me a lunatic then SO BE IT!

          I’d rather be a free lunatic than a shackled SHEEP!!!!!


        • #2719351

          Some of

          by athelwolfe ·

          In reply to SHEEP!!!!

          us aren’t in the position to burn bridges before we get another job. In case you haven’t noticed the market really sucks in some areas still and we have families to support.


        • #2718736

          Yet Another SHEEP!!!

          by pioneering ·

          In reply to Some of

          OH, boo, hoo, hoo!! Tha market is down so I’m going to take it up the ass without so much as a wimper.

          Everyone is, listen, you wimp, EVERYONE is in a position to say “NO!”. Say it, risk it, and say it with gusto!!!!

          Do not allow yourself to be exploited or YOU WILL BE!

          Grow some cajones and STAND TALL BEFORE THE MAN!!!


        • #2718054

          Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

          by j_most ·

          In reply to SHEEP!!!!

          I do agree with your thoughts, my response is not as funny as yours though.

          I remember seeing a collegue of mine constantly getting berated by his boss, and when I asked him why did he take it, or why didn’t he stand up he said “Because i’d like to be able to pay my bills” I promised myself that I would never let my self respect be compromised because of “bills”

          You have to demand respect for yourself first or you won’t get it.

          I sympathize with the people who have families and the such (I just have a mortgage & car, single & no kids) and I can’t say I know how it is because I just have me to support, but if putting up with this treatment is what a person feels they have to do then thats up to them. I know it won’t work for me so I don’t do it.

      • #2719398

        I agree with JimH – not everyone is in the position to say no…

        by hybrit ·

        In reply to Stealth Wallpaper

        You can’t call everyone sheep, everyone’s situation is differnet.

        However, I do agree with you tht no one should put up with this nonsense – especially if they are not getting paid to carry the cell phone/pager!

        Personally, I think it’s abusive and as long as we allow employers to feel that they can call us whenever they want because Bobby-Jo can’t open, then they’ll come to EXPECT it!

        How about giving this a try: while looking for a job, totally ignore all that require work in a 24/7 environment? If the job is so fantastic, then at least you know that you accept your fate of midnight calls, but otherwise, I don’t even look at those types of jobs.

        Why subject yourself to these employers who put demands and expecations on your personal time with nothing to show for it?

        To hell with them, I say…and if I let myself be put into that position, then it’s my own fault.

    • #2719451

      Ouch !!!!

      by stubby ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I notice from your profile that you are US based so I can’t give specifics.

      Having read the other posts though and especially the ones who state … “anything else we care to make you do” and the ….”we can re-write your contract at will” smack of a change in your T&C of employment.

      All I can say is that in the UK, I know that any change to my T&C has to be agreed by me – if it doesn’t there are various ways to try and resolve it. But at the end of the day, the buck will come back to you. You can try and negotiate a deal as 24/7 cover is unreasonable to anyone (even in IT) because we all need time to recover – part of that includes R&R and sleep!!!!! I would imagine that US employment law is also on your side in this.

      OK – here’s some practical suggestions:
      Draw up a list of negative points (don’t mention money, yet) and also draw up a list of positive points – both to you and the company. Negatives could include things like – not a peak operating level on a 24/7 cover and so on…

      Next, draw up what you think is reasonable to cover without extra recompense (if any) and also what you’d be looking for (be reasonable) to do 24/7 (still unreal to ask anyone to do this type of cover. Finally, ask to speak with senior management and present a completed solution to them.

      IME a moan doesn’t work, but a moan with a well thought through answer – even if it doesn’t end up being used – comes over as much more positive and shows you’ve put thought behind it, rather than the instant moan that we all tend to do. It’s advice I’ve stuck by and has worked 9 times out of 10 for me.

      If after all that they come back with a totally unsympathetic answer … then I guess you either have to suck it up or move on.

      All teh best.

    • #2719445

      Then want 24/7, then give them it

      by seabrookcrisp ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Tell any callers you will get back to them, get an early night, set your alarm for 3am, then start returning the calls.
      If they have had a late night or you have just woken their 6 month old remain cheerfully oblivious to the fact and just stick to the job in hand. Its all part of the service.

    • #2719444

      Job description and shop around

      by commandgce ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You have four choices:
      1. tell them to stick it = get a new job;
      2. read the fine print in your job description/contract. If there is no clause about ‘other duties as specified’, ask for a review of the terms and conditions vs the salary. If there are many like you out there on the unemployment scrapheap, this is a risky strategy;
      3. get an industry survey of terms and conditions – you may be just a late starter, and everyone but you has an albatross – or your firm may be early acceptors and don’t know the risks;
      4. randomly leave the cell phone where you can’t hear it – or take it where it can’t hear the local repeater; many cell phone techs can tell you where the ‘black spots’ are. In other words, you be in control of your life.

    • #2719435

      Slave labour

      by robertmi ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I guess it depends on labour laws in your locality, but a 24/7 regime is inhuman, especially for an admin person. If you get a lot of calls it sounds as though your company culture is not great on consideration. Nobody minds mission critical emergency repairs, but assuming your systems are half way decent you should not be getting too many of those. I wonder who did the 24/7 thing before you got stuck with it? Are they still with the company? That might be a useful source of experience and advice. It sounds as though the decision maker in this case cares nothing for HR issues. If you work for an organisation that thinks screwing its staff is OK then perhaps it is time to look around. Before you jump ship however, spend a little time finding out the decision making mechanism that led to you being lumbered with the tasking. If your approach is based on fairness and equity rather than monetary compensation you might get a response you can live with. You surely can’t be the only IT person in the firm. Why can’t the task be shared around?

    • #2719429

      It must be a win-win situation

      by gary.kneip ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      If a company earns money based on a special effort supplied by its personnel, then it must compensate in a similar fashion its personnel, if the company does not bill for additional service then they are stupid.

      So check out in what situation your employer is, if it is the first one, then claim compensation, if it is the second one, then start worrying about the survival chances…

    • #2719422

      Do you vote?

      by tombu ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      If Bush has his way you’re no longer going to be elegible for overtime either.

      • #2719384

        You are posting on the wrong board

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Do you vote?

        If you get politics out of your head for a minute and read the posting you will see he is salary and doesn’t get overtime anyways.

        This is not the place for your political agenda.

        • #2719284

          tombu is posting on the correct board

          by bigthreeflunky ·

          In reply to You are posting on the wrong board

          Everything about IT is political, including our salaries and wages…

          Even in this discussion thread half of the messages mention national, state, or provincial, employment laws. The rest cover office politics.

          For one hour, turn off Foxxx News and your pager, investigate the ENRON/Kenneth Lay (or other breaking corporate) travesty from honest sources on the internet, and perhaps then develop some perspective.

          (Oh… and don’t forget to vote in November… if we actually have an election in the United States and you can find a non-computerized voting booth.)

        • #2719217

          With all due respect, I disagree – this is a proper place to post that

          by ·

          In reply to You are posting on the wrong board

          The question I am struggling with is “does the fact that somebody is salaried mean that they are (or should be) devoid of any federal labor protections”?

          It used to be that salaried people made a lot more money than hourly people and had a lot more responsibility and authority. So it made sense to relax a lot labor standard protections because the salaried people were valuable commodities and had power and money.

          But hourly people frequently organize into effective labor unions and over the years, the gap between hourly and salaried has shrunk, or in some cases (school teachers leap to mind) have become inverted.

          The Bush administration has taken any number of pro-business/anti-labor stands. If labor rights are your “hot button” issue then you should vote democratic. If one of the social issues (gay marriage, abortion rights, faith based initiatives) is your hot button issue then you should do something else.


        • #2718821

          I have to agree but…….

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to With all due respect, I disagree – this is a proper place to post that

          Forget party politics because this crosses all party lines. Whatever the party they all want to be elected and to do so they will need votes. When
          the great unwashed, either salaried or wage earner, speaks and speaks loudly enough the legislators will eventually respond. As to whether
          it will happen quickly remains to be seen but it should be noted that most government have some formof labor legislation and apparatus on their books and that surprisingly covers both salaried and wage earners. It is up to the individual to acquaint themselves of these tools and unfortunately this might require the services of a

        • #2718795

          Seek an Attorney

          by sql_joe ·

          In reply to I have to agree but…….

          You need to seek legal advice, or contact the Federal Department of Labor, you can do it online, and they do respond quickly.

          Your overtime issue will depend on if you meet the Labor Code’s definition of “creative professional” or not. The Federal Labor Code does specify in an exception that a certain class of Technical Workers are protected (and thus eligable for overtime) if they don’t meet the criteria of a creative professional. An example: A programmer is a creative professional, a PC Repair Tech is not. Depending on the job you actually do (the department of labor will want your job description, but they will also want to know exactly what you do) is how it will be determined if you qualify.

      • #2718724


        by sledjockey ·

        In reply to Do you vote?

        If Kerry had is way, anyone with a job and isn’t on state or federal aid would pay 50% in taxes right before he signed another H1B and L1 bill into affect like ol’ Slick Willy. Look at where are jobs have really gone, Tombu. How many US citizens with a good IT job do you see compared to foreigners that sit there with the good pay and benefits? You obviously haven’t been on MS campus or looked into anything more than what feeds you……

    • #2719421

      HR Perspective

      by slartibartfast ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Hi there,

      First of all, I’m not the HR professional, it’s my wife 🙁

      You need to take advice on whether you should be salaried or hourly. These rules are quite clear and enforceable. A lot of people think that salaried/hourly is employers discretion *it isn’t*!

      It sounds to me like you might be able to make a case that you should be eligible for overtime (i.e. hourly) (although this depends on a few different factors). If this is the case, not only will you be entitled to overtime at time and a half or whatever when called or after regular hours at the office, but your employer will need to pay you all the back overtime he should have paid you.


      • #2719413

        Be Patient

        by nhammed ·

        In reply to HR Perspective

        Everything works out in the long run. I spent 12 years on call and carying a pager. Answering operations and customer calls in the middle of the night. Not to mention getting up out of a warm bed only to get into a cold car and drive to the data center to resolve problems. If you have the ability to perform your functions from your home that is great! If you don’t have the tools, ask your manager for them. Management does notice at some point. If you stick with it and do a good job, hopefully you will be rewarded with an assignment that will no longer require this type of support.
        Good Luck…………..

    • #2719414

      Start Looking

      by enydonaesenix ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Can your employer vastly expand your duties on a whim? Yes, they have every legal right to do so. You can try talking to your boss, but the overwhelming probability is that she doesn’t care, since she’s not the one dragging the ball and chain around. If she made the actual decision that you have to be chained up 24/7, she might even resent having her managerial wisdom questioned; if the decision came from higher up, she won’t want to rock the boat. Remember to pay no attention to promises and alleged sympathy – they are worse than useless if they keep you where you are. Nothing less than a substantial raise or the removal of the chains will do.

      Companies often pull this kind of crap near the end of a cycle of high IT unemployment; they’ve gotten used to having slaves they can work from sundown to sundown because the slaves are glad to have a plantation at all. Well, the IT job market is improving again! There are better jobs out there for you…but the only way the news that the slaves have been freed will reach upper management is when they try to hire someone to replace you with the same 24/7 duties and the same salary and no one with anyone near your qualifications will even apply. So it’s time to teach your employer what the free market is about: “I have another job. Bite me.”

      After a couple of years of having to offer employees what they consider WAY too much, employers will start offering fistfuls of cash to every fast-talking Salvation Army reject who deigns to interview…until the next IT downturn. But I digress. Good luck with your job hunt.

    • #2719410

      Federal Government regulations on wages

      by kaufman & kaufman ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Accoreding to the federal government there are several issuse to salaried persons and overtime.
      (I know because someone called them in where I worked, and the employer was fined).
      First as a salaried person to be exempt from the overtime rule (time and on half paid after 40 hours worked in one week). You must 1. have the power to hire and fire employees. 2. You must have at least 3 people working under you.
      If these 2 contitions are both not met your employer must pay you time and 1/2 after 40 hours worked. If you are on salary (according to the federal government) the employer is to take your salary divide by 40 to get an hourly rate then times it by 1 1/2.
      If your employer does not compensate this way they can be fined by the government (exception police, teachers and federal employees).
      Now I speak from experience D Not let anyone know if you are going to call in the governemnt. Your employer will retaliate if they find out that you called. Good Luck

    • #2719409

      It’s your life – you set the boundries

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      First of all, you stated that you “must “answer these calls 24/7. Well, with all due respect, no you don’t. Even if you are salaried, you deserve a life. They don’t own you, unless, of course, you’ve submitted yourself totally to them. No one can take advantage of you without your permission, and it sounds as though you’ve freely given it.

      But being one to find balance in such things, you’ve also accepted a position of responsibility with the firm. If there are so many calls that it really is a disruption into your personal life, then either the problems that arise are too numerous for one person to handle, or people are abusing the “system” by calling you for non-emergency reasons. You should keep track of the calls, and separate the emergency calls from the basic support calls (or whatever else), and discuss it with the powers that be. What do they want? What do you want? What’s the purpose of the cell phone? Look for a win-win resolution out of the discussion. If you find yourself on the losing end of the deal, and they don’t realize that (or don’t care), it’s still your choice to continue to be abused or not.

      However, I think any reasonable person (your boss) would also want to find that balance. They’d want to find that win-win. What do you want, fewer calls or more money for taking the calls? From the sound of your message, I would assume the former. If so, you need to be clear on what calls you will accept – and when. It’s your life, and if you so choose, you can set your own terms as to when people can impose.

      • #2719383

        Boundaries Are Key

        by johnnysacks ·

        In reply to It’s your life – you set the boundries

        I’ve been there. There are indeed real emergencies that arise, but as time marches on and people realize that you are consistently available and politely accomodating (as any valued employee would be), the definition of emergency slowly changes to include any situation that constitutes a nuisance for the requestor.

        These issues must be politely deferred back to the requestor and your supervisor notified of the misuse of you as a resource. Should the issue(s) receive no acknowledgement, you MUST turn the cell phone and pager off or your private life is doomed.

    • #2719402

      That’s the way the salaried bounce

      by ole88 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I have been in several salaried positions and in each one the way the employer defined it is “you are paid to be on call if necessary.” This basically means that you are at their beck and call. How compensation is handled is dictated in part by state law. You can try to introduce Federal Regulations and Guidelines into the mix and see how it goes. You know your employer better than anyone here, if you don’t think they will react favorably, just look for something new.

    • #2719400

      Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      by gb_komp ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I question whether all these replies come from IT managers. When I became an IT manager, I never questioned the need to be available 24×7. Where I work, if something is not up and running for our employees and/or customers, that translates to lost $$$. If that lost $$$ can be traced back to the fact that I refused to be available to fix a problem, I would be updating my resume for a different reason. Should you be compensated for that availability? Maybe, but it seems as though it goes with the job.
      BTW – I carry my phone everywhere, but am not always available to fix something from my current location. I can usually get hold of someone else that can.

      • #2718808

        Completely Legal?

        by cshipman ·

        In reply to Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

        gb_komp I wonder what you salary is compared to his. The more dollars you make to the more loyal you are.

      • #2718800

        a REAL Manager should MANAGE

        by dilbert-tom ·

        In reply to Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

        Any IT manager who thinks that they need to be 24/7 personally has failed to understand what managing is… It isn’t doing it yourself 24/7.

        Some kind of rotation needs to be implemented (at a minimum), I’d suggest 4 or more staff rotating on-call weekly. Make sure that calls are being escalated from ONE (or several specific) source(s) which has screened the issue to assure that a call is really required. Along with a rotation, there can be a ‘fall-back’ (eg; secondary person to be called if first is unavailible).

        The only valid 24/7 coverage is for the manager of the on-call team(s) – if nobody else at all can be reached (which should be quite seldom).

        I’m an IT Contractor who hasn’t been able to get overtime (eg; time-and-a-half), but always bill for time worked (and for ‘non-work’ hours, it’s generally an hour for responding, plus actual time …

        A manager who thinks that he’s being a better manager by doing it himself is just a sucker. Real managers have budgets, I know because I’ve been on teams engaged largely just to support on-call by some of them.

        If you haven’t got a budget for support – you’re just a grunt with a fancy title and nothing but yourself to manage…

        • #2718756

          Well stated.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to a REAL Manager should MANAGE

          I’ve been in both the salaried and wage position but the one thing I’ve always been clear on is that I work AT the company not FOR the company and I always made sure that was understood by the employer and never forgotten by myself. I am now an employer and it is something I always try to convey to my employees. I encourage entrpreneurship in my employees and benefit from increased growth and productivity from the process. We started out in my garage and now have seven locations in Canada and the US and expect to have offices in Britain and Europe by 2006. It would never have happened if my staff and partners weren’t kept happy and satisfied. I tell every employee that they should keep their resumes or CV’s fresh and to shop them around periodically if only to see what’s happening on the open market. I’m constantly surprised at some of the backfeed we get from this and we even have a couple of new partners that evolved from information gleened from this process. We pay slightly above average and we have profit sharing and in five years have only lost 2 employees out of 187 – one fired for cause ane one via a tragic accident. We must be doing something right and why others can’t or won’t do the same, totally baffles me. Happy staff is productive staff.

    • #2719397

      After hours

      by bposner ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      As a support center manager my staff rotates the after hours cell phone. If they get calls they must use our contact database to track the call. I track their hours on the phone and compensate them the hours for days off, long lunches etc. We are a software company and don’t get a lot of volume, so in our case this works out well.

    • #2719395

      From a manager

      by schrödinger’s cat ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I am and have been for a long time responsible for IT in a number of large and small organizations. There are several occasions where I find myself putting someone in the situation you are in.

      For Example: We have a critical system running that must be available 24/7 (could be desktops, could be billing, could be anything). One person is the “go to” for this system when a real problem occurs. What should I do? I need to make sure that whoever has to work on that system at whatever time it is can get the information needed to correct the problem. I have found myself pinning a pager and cellphone on that person.

      It could be that we have a small IT group with not enough coverage or justification for full time 24/7 staffing. (jumping from 8 or 12 hour coverage to 24/7 coverage is a very expensive proposition). So, I have appointed someone to carry the page and cellphone, or prepared a schedule for rotation of the coveted instruments.

      THE CRITICAL POINT HOWEVER, is that there is no justification (not enough work) to have someone sitting in the datacenter or even at home waiting for the call. If you are getting one call a month and most can be handled over the cellphone, I would feel justified in giving you this new responsibility. On the other hand, if you were getting calls every night/weekend day and/or more than just a few required you either come into the office or get to your machine and connect from home/away, then this would be unfair in my opinion. Also, if you aren’t the only person in the IT group, it would make sense that this duty is rotated among you.

      PS: At the risk of opening another can of worms, it would also be beneficial to you and your employer if you were not as indispensible as you apparently are. i.e. develop and carefully maintain documents, change logs, FAQ (for your colleagues), etc…to make it possible that someone else can do your job in your absence (showering, swimming, vacation, etc.).

      • #2719354

        If you can’t be

        by athelwolfe ·

        In reply to From a manager

        replaced, you can’t be promoted. 😎

        • #2718813

          Sure you can.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to If you can’t be

          If you are irreplacable you’ve got them over a barrel and they’ll want to keep you happy or you’ll walk. I know because I did just that and today I make more money in one year from that company than I did in my whole career of seven years there. However, make damn sure you are irreplacable and that it isn’t just wishful thinking on your part. I knew beyond a doubt that I had them by the short and curlies and now they know it and have been paying for it ever since.

      • #2719253

        Had it then it was taken away!

        by gail.small ·

        In reply to From a manager

        As a manager involved in outsourcing, I faced a similar problem. The employee carrying the pager got an “on-call” bonus of approximately $1000/month, in addition to his salry. When he was outsourced (to the company I worked for) that benefit was not included. In other words, he had to do the same work but for $12,000 less a year. Talk about a moral problem! We were able to increase his salary slightly to compensate him, but basically, if he wanted a job, those were the circumstances he had to live with. It’s why I really grew to hate outsourcing.

        • #2718794

          Can understand why you hate outsourcing.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Had it then it was taken away!

          It’s a bitch keeping up with the rat race. Just when you think you’ve got it beat; along comes a faster breed of rat. The only solution is to turn yourself into the quickest, not necessarily fastest although it helps, meanest, smartest rat in the race. The trick is to be able to do it while appearing likable and sincere. If you can’t do that try faking it. Remember the law of the jungle “Kill or be killed; eat or be eaten.” As Al
          Capone used to say “You can get a lot with a kind word but you can get more with a kind word and a gun.” Keep your chin up.

      • #2718659

        Are You Kidding?

        by rlast ·

        In reply to From a manager

        I like your approach, but it is unrealistic, unless of course you have a heart and a boss that cares. Most of us have neither!

    • #2719394

      I’m on the other flip-side of it

      by cp7212 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I am non-salaried and hate the phone. I don’t even want one in my private residence. I answer it all day at work, why would I want to be bothered at home?!? All I heard from work was, “When are you going to get a phone?” I work IT and am supposed to be 24/7, also. The only catch is they don’t pay for my phone. I had to get a cell phone and my area only has two providers. I am paying $50+/month (because of all the taxes)for having the phone and get this, they never call me now. I asked why I can’t be reimbursed for the phone and everyone told me the same thing — welcome to IT. I’m going to see if I can claim it as a business expense. So I guess in the world of IT, it’s either money or time. BTW, I make a decent wage, but not enough to justify paying for a cell phone I don’t want or need.

    • #2719391

      Check with local labour laws

      by ir8tech ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I work in Canada and I work at a shop that requires 24x7x365. When I get the oncall pager I get paid 1 hour standard rate for every 8 hours carrying the pager. I believe this is a provincially mandated law. I would suggest you check with your local/state/provincal labour laws.

    • #2719390

      Not respected or Understood….No Dial tone

      by relm ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      In terms of today’s workplace, you are a victim. If you superiors held respect for you and your position, then you would have been included in the decision process. At the least they do not understand you, your responsibilities, or the value and worth you bring to the workplace. In almost all cases of 24/7, you have to respond, reporting end in termination. Either you burn out and quit, you are fired for not keeping up, or the business is already failing and you have a cell phone with no dial tone.

      A good manager will never place an employee in a position they themselves won’t take, or the CEO would reject. Think about it.


    • #2719386

      Management Flexability

      by joe.gillis ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      As an IT manager, I have all my team members carry cell phones that the company pays for. If they receive calls off hours that requires them to provide services, I compensate them elsewhere with alternate time off. I myself am required to carry both a cell phone and BlackBerry at all times and my CIO works with me for alternate time off when need.

      I consider this a part of the role of being a member of IT.

    • #2719381

      So you want to be a Tech do ya?

      by richard.gaskins ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      This is the buissness that you have chosen, and if you did not get this 24/7 compensastion worked out form the start, Then you better hope your review comes quickly.

      It is the price you pay for being a “Good” tech.

      Good luck

    • #2719378


      by carla.cds ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I work in a 24/7 area for a large bank and we get no extra compensation, they do provide some comp time if you are disturbed at night during the week(after 12:00 midnight) you are allowed to leave early usually between 2 & 3 depending on volume or you can work from home and get off about 3pm.
      All in all it very hard and the comp time is very small but we do have rotating schedule.


    • #2719377

      Management responsibilities go both ways

      by dba3 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      RE: “No matter if i’m eating, showering, swimming, opening christmas presents, or in church, I must answer this phone. I get alot of calls. Must they pay me more(even if i am salaried) if i’m to deal with these after work intrusions, what can I do about it, or am I stuck?”

      The Key responsibility of management includes the health of the business, that means the customers, products, AND company assets (including human resources). For example, it is an employee’s duty to let administration know, and if possible, offer solutions when an asset is being poorly maintained i.e.(insufficient sleep and many intrusions into a key employee’s personal life DO represent a poorly maintained asset and poor performance on the part of the manager responsible for that employee).

      Some approaches to your situation may include deciding to delegate / postphone certain kinds of issues e.g.(i. get the home / cell numbers of others who can do some work / tasks and pass off some calls to them; ii. develop a matrix of high, medium and low priority calls so that lower priority calls may be delayed until the following day’s business hours.; iii add two additional persons to the 24/7 group making each say 24/2, leaving your responsibility at 24/3). Of course it is generally helpful to be able to document the level and seriousness of the disruption in order to support a given proposed solution.

    • #2719376

      Old problem – old solutions

      by bogmeadow ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      First of All, is it a real problem? Computer center support staff are always on call. I used to get calle once or twice a week. The typical response was take two aspirin and I’ll see you in the morning. Maybe once a month I’d have to go to the center in the middle of the night and fix something. (I had a fellow worker who amazingly to me could fix damm near anything over the phone.)

      Let’s assume it’s a real problem with far too many calls.
      2) Tell your boss it’s a real problem
      3) Follow up with your boss about waht’s being done.
      4) remind your boss that hourly personnel who
      are on call are paid for being on call.
      5) Make sure you report all the hours you put in
      on your time card or equivalent. If you don’t have a time card send a writtten report to your boss every week with the same info. When I did that, miraculously, I started getting paid for the extra time, even though I was salaried.

      Finally, If the company is just screwing you, find another company

      … Joe

    • #2719375


      by daveandbeam ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Now you know why collective bargaining is better than leaving it up to the boss.

      IT is not a profession. You are a skilled technician, perhaps with professional attitudes, but you are still a wage earner.

      I hope your story is not the norm. Employers should smarten up. In the interim, I think I would look elsewhere.

    • #2719374

      Time share after hours

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      How big is the IT department?

      While the only way to not have to do this is to refuse and get fired, I agree that you can try to share the work load with others in the department.

      The logging of hours is also a great idea, to be brought in when you do your reviews.

      If things get too bad, then you have to learn to forget to charge the battery.

      Good luck.

      • #2719348

        Time in Time Off

        by tim.ferry ·

        In reply to Time share after hours

        I am salaried, and have been on call 24/7 for the last 7 years, and cannot get compensated for on call because they believe it is part of the position/responsibility….I agree. If I get called in I simply keep track of the time in transit and at work. Then during that pay period, if all is going well at work, I leave for the afternoon, or take a day off. Works for me, and I don’t get burned out. However, I am on call when I leave… 😮

    • #2719368

      The bigger question is

      by athelwolfe ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Why are you getting so many calls? Is there insufficient knowledgeable staff after hours? Or is it a case where no one wants to make a decision and potentially take the fallout if they’re wrong?

      The last 5 years I was with my last job I was on call 24/7 period, even on vacation. The first 6 months were hell until I made sure the people on the other end (help desk, client services) knew what they were doing and then we set some pretty stringent guidelines over what I could be paged for.

      If possible the best thing to do is to sit down with your boss and find our why the calls are so heavy and set some realistic guidelines for them to page you. If they aren’t willing to do that, start looking and when you do leave politely tell them why. (but try not to burn any bridges)

    • #2719363

      Get another Job or You may wind up in divorce court

      by kebryant ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      A few years ago I had the same problem. The pager kept beeping several times each night. One night my wife got so pissed she grabed the pager and was in the process of throwing it out the window when I caught hold of her hand to grab the pager. She kicked me out of the bedroom and told me “get a new job or get a another wife”. She needed her sleep too so she could get through the next day without falling asleep at her desk.

    • #2719361

      Time to start looking

      by david ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I’m really afraid that, unless you’re covered by a collective agreement or your state/province has specific laws governing your situation, you’re stuck. Typically, salaried individuals, and particularly those who are “in management”, are required to work when and as needed, with no overtime.

      Some employers do make provision for on-call employees by paying an on-call fee or bonus, but that is a corporate policy issue and not a legal one.

      I would suggest that, before you take any drastic action, you have a talk with your employer and outline your position. It sounds to me like they’re trying to cheap out on you; if that is the case, they’ll probably tell you to take it or leave it, and you should already have decided for yourself which you’ll do before you the discussion.

      In addition to looking for other work, you may want to consider your legal options. If you have any proof that you are being singled out for unreasonable treatment, you may be able to sue your employer for “constructive dismissal” (at least, that’s what we call it in Canada; other jurisdictions may have other names; informally, it’s known as “quit for cause”). What this means is your employer is creating a situation designed to force you to quit because, for whatever reason, they want you gone but don’t want to pay severance. If you believe this may be the case, you should go and see a good, reputable lawyer and dicsuss this option with him/her.

      Be aware that legal action against your employer may have negative reprecussions in your job search. If it becomes known that you are involved in a legal action, potential employers may look at you as a trouble maker and decide not to hire you for that reason. If you live in a small community, or work in a closely-knit industry, this may be a factor.

      Personally, unless your employer was willing to be reasonable, I would start looking for another job. Legal options are fine, but they can be the kiss of death for your career aspirations.

      Good luck; I don’t envy you, although I’ve been there (and chosen to go elsewhere).

    • #2719360

      Been there

      by sette ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      At my previous job, three of us had to support the business 7 days a week. One worked Sun – Thur, Mon – Fri, and Tue – Sat.
      Weekends were slow so we got a pager. If you got paged and had to come in, we were paid 4 hours – if you fixed it by phone no hours. I always had to come in.
      Found new job with only M – F support.

    • #2719356

      Other duties as required

      by codejock ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      “Other duties as required” or “other duties as specified” is not a carte blanche, though some employers think it is. The law and the test of reasonableness still apply.

      You didn’t mention what’s supposed to happen during vacation periods. I assume that they have someone to cover for you during those periods. And why can’t they split the on-call time between you? (If you’re on call on vacation, it isn’t a vacation. Take cruises; there’s no cell or pager towers at sea — yet. You can’t pick up messages until you’re in range of shore and the roaming charges and long distance can be murder).

      First, consult your local state labor office. Check with a labor lawyer as well. Find out your options. You’ll know exactly what your position is legally when it comes time to negotiate.

      No matter what, you’re going to have to confront management with your concerns. Sometimes squawking will get you off the hook.

      If you’re bold, ask your boss if he or she will spell you off every second week (he or she won’t but it might make your point for you). Or ask, “If you were in my position, what would you do?” You might be surprised by the answer depending on how well you get on with your boss.

      Regardless of what others say about “welcome to my world”, you have to decide what’s important to you in your life and stick by it. Just because someone’s prepared to live with X years of 24/7 on-call doesn’t mean you have to.

      Remember, the definition of “employee” is not “feudal serf”, “slave”, or “minion”. Your association with an employer is a voluntary one of mutual benefit (people sometimes forget that).

      Good luck.

      • #2719289

        People’s boundaries differ

        by cmb from omaha ·

        In reply to Other duties as required

        Good point about ignoring the “welcome to my world” sarcasm of some posters. Some folks love being indispensable 24/7. Others don’t even want to think about work when they are off duty. There’s no shame in admitting that “this just ain’t the job for me”.

    • #2719355

      Another Option

      by gsquared ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You may not have a legal recourse on this other than seeking employment elsewhere. You’ll have to consult a lawyer on that one.

      BUT, you do have another option. Since management just gave you more duties, you could use that as a negotiating point to get either a raise or some other perk as compensation.

      For example, if they won’t give you a raise in salary, ask for the option of taking “comp time” or some such. I.e., if you get called while on your own hours, and you spend an hour on the call, then you get to leave an hour early the next Friday.

      If you have reasonably intelligent managers, they may respond to such an idea positively. Depends on your negotiating skills and the pressure they are under as well as personality issues.

    • #2719352

      They Pay or No Way

      by csobott ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Either they pay you for your time or hit the road. Don’t feel that your worth is so little you can’t find another comapany to pay you for your time. Your current boss is saying that he needs you 24/7. Make him pay for it or find someone who will.

    • #2719350

      Similar experience

      by riffl ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I was working 60+ hours a week, on call 24/7, ruining my health, damaging my marriage, and getting paid much less than I should – all because I allowed myself to be taken advantage of. When I asked for an assistant so I could delegate some of the work-load, I was put on “probation” for not being a team-player. When I asked for a raise, I was told I was being disloyal. When I asked for vacation time, I was told I could not leave town in case they needed me to come back in to handle an emergency. I discovered that my boss was receiving a bonus for keeping my salary below the average for my position. When I had my heart-surgery, my boss said he expected me back at work on Monday or I would be replaced. Ultimately, they fired me and hired ten people to do the job I was doing. Today I am paid twice the money for doing one-twentieth the work, have regular hours, much less stress, and my wife says I am much more pleasant to live with. You are only stuck in a bad situation if you allow yourself to be. You have a choice, even if it appears to be a hard one.

      • #2719197

        Thank you

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to Similar experience

        For keeping it real!

        I’d like to read any constructive arguments that any can and choose to offer to your proffered reality.

        • #2718753

          This is an overly extreme case.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Thank you

          This can only happen if you permit it too. I truly hope he sued those jerks for wrongfull dismissal and for abuse and several other possible
          legalities. NO JOB IS WORTH YOUR HEALTH AND SANITY. Employers like this need a quick lesson in ethics and sometimes the only recourse is the courts. Hopefully he’s done this and if not, I hope he hasn’t left it too late. Sometimes a company is not aware of what lengths their managers will go to, to appear productive. Thankfully I’ve never had to work for an a__hole like that guy’s manager and if I thought any of my
          people were behaving like this they would quickly find themselves on the outside wistfully looking in and I would make damn good and sure that any of his prospective employers would know just what type idiot he was, even at the risk of a law suit.
          This guy managed through fear and terror not by incentive and encouragement.

    • #2719349

      It all depends on the Country / State you are in

      by skipperusn ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Depends on the country or the state you are working in. Pa is a right to work state – IE free will, they can terminate you and you can quit no reason. Other states like Texas – the company can own your sole… some companies in Texas when they say no smoking – they can fire you for smoking at home…

      So if you are in one of the slavery states like Texas – then its time to find a new Job – or live with the phone and pager calls….

    • #2719344

      “At Will” Employment and Quality of Life

      by paularmstrong4 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I believe the answer to your question largely depends on the employment laws of your state, but essentially, salaried professionals are called “At Will Employees.” Most states are “At Will” states. At Will Employment means that you work at the pleasure of your employer; they can tell you to do anything legal and demand extended hours. The only exceptions to this are cases where the employer is violating a pre-employment contract; promise of employment or inflicting pain and duress on upon the employee ( At the same time, you can quit at any time. I live in Maryland, which is an “At Will” state. Back in 2002, I accepted a systems management position with a large company. The job was attractive; the job description bulleted out my responsibilities, which I understood. The last bullet was “other duties and responsibilities as required.” Within a few months, in addition to systems management, I was managing a 24×7 schedule, in charge of customer fulfillment for our hosted product and being used as an application analyst for my boss’s ramshackle code. Ultimately, I left the company.

      I think its a matter of job market, which happily appears to be getting stronger. With greater competition to keep qualified employees, employers who don’t do so as a matter of course will re-evaluate their employees’ quality of life.

    • #2719342

      Make it a win/win

      by wagnepe ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Our organization compensates staff who carry the 24×7 on-call pager. Works out to about $750/mo. in addition to regular salary. At some price like that that it could be a win-win for the organization and the person carrying the cell-phone and pager. Otherwise, time to find a different job.

    • #2719336

      cellphones/salaried/noextrapay /legal?

      by timvanscyoc ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I know exactly how you feel. I was in the same boat before I switched jobs. You finally get to the point where subconsciously you don’t do things off hours because you fear that page or call. Even if you’re not called you should be paid bacause it does indeed affect your personal life and those around you. Once I realized how much it affected my wife and children I went to my boss and explained what was happening. He listened and felt my grief but I never saw a dime in compensation. I was paged one evening just after I got home and I had to dial into work. I was online working for over an hour and my 4 year old asked me to do something with her and I told her I had to finish my work. And her exact words were, “When are you going to work with me?” Three months later I found and new job and everyone around me notices the difference in me. Hopefully it won’t reach that point with you but don’t forget, You work to live not live to work!

    • #2719329

      Details Hold the Answer

      by gadget-girl ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You are new to this and no matter who you go forward to speak with the details of the types of calls, how many, what times, the nature of the problem, etc become very important. An analysis of the calls may show a solution, maybe a particular area is not being managed as well as it could, etc. If you go back to your employer they will be able to appreciate your situation if you have numbers to back up your complaint.

      A legal opinion will require this data, how many is a lot of calls, to you it is 5, to someone else 15? How much time did it take you to solve the problem, or did it have to wait until the next day?

      Unless you educate you boss he has no idea how much of a burden he is placing on you and this can only be accomplished by keeping records. If they cannot support and compensate you then take the data and get a legal opinion from your state labor board and a private lawyer.

      Good problems always make for great anwsers and advancement!

    • #2719323

      Same here….

      by kaambrose ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?


      Are you in the Syracuse area? I noticed your email address. We have a 3 person IS office – myself and 2 other administrators. I’m the hardware person and hourly so I’m not on call as they don’t want to pay me the overtime. The two administrators I work with are “on call” during off hours. They do not get extra pay or comp time for this. I believe the way they “work around it” is that it is part of the job description. The only thing that has helped them is that there are very specific rules as to what is considered an emergency call versus what can wait until Monday or the next day. Is this your case? It seems like you are getting every kind of call without any restrictions. I would starting documenting your calls. I’m not sure what legal recourse you have, if any.

      Good luck.

    • #2719318

      No legal protections

      by mitchlr ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Systems Admins and programmers in support roles are in a similar role at our company — previously we received both comp time and pager pay, but then a new CEO was brought on board by the investor who took over the company. Shortly after his arrival, pager pay was stopped and comp time as well. The response to complaints was essentially, “You have a paycheck.”

      Current HR law has two categories — exempt positions and non-exempt. Non-exempt employees are paid hourly and must be paid overtime. Exempt employees are salaried, and their compensation is deemed adequate to allow the requirement of as many hours as the employer requires, though not being an HR specialist I am unaware of the details.

      Right now there’s a glut of IT workers looking for jobs, and as long as that’s the case those of us in IT will likely have to put up with this kind of crap from employers who know they’ve got us where they want us.

      Sure, you know your environment and systems and the business processes they support so that any replacement will have a steep learning curve to take your place. But the boss knows that there are folks waiting in line for your position, so he’s going to tighten the screws to see how close he can make you dance to the “I quit!” threshold.

      Hang in there, pal, we in IT are going to have to eat a lot of humble pie before things get better.

      • #2718748

        Ever hear of Wrongfull Dismissal and Fair Practices Laws???????

        by sleepin’dawg ·

        In reply to No legal protections

        Maybe they don’t have them in Davy Crocket country
        or is that Daniel Boone but I’m almost sure they have something and I’m almost sure you haven’t fully checked them out. Maybe things are tight in your area ITwise but they’re booming elsewhere. Get that resume dusted off and put it out there.
        BTW if you want to have a whip hand in your negotiations learn assembly languge. The idea that you know it and could possibly put an undetectable “backdoor” in the system literally scares the crap out of managers—-Not that you’d ever do that but the idea that you could always strengthens your position. Another thought, a lot of assemblers use GOD as their password once your into the lower levels of the system.

    • #2719311

      Similar situation here.

      by mmeijer ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      It sounds this is the first time your company is trying this, and if that is the case there will be some ironing out to do before it becomes fair for both you and your employer.

      I would suggest trying to talk to them first, see if you could negotiate a new “on call policy” this way you both get what you need. I for one called a meeting when the on call time got out of hand. Luckily my employer took my suggestions and completely revamped our on call policy. Now if he had just blown me off, and told me to deal with it I probably would have walked.

      Some of the changes we made are: alternating weekends between all of the engineers. On call pay to compensate for lost personal time. If we get a call after 12:00 AM we are allowed to come in a little later the following workday. And here’s the big one we hired an answering service! Answering services help in many ways, most likely if it is not an emergency, they will hang up when they here the answering service ask for the description of their “emergency”…

      Good luck!

    • #2719307

      Salary requires contract? Fair Approach

      by dmurawsky ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Well, if you are a salaried employee you should have had to sign a contract. Bring it out and read it over. What stipulations are their regarding changing your job description, hours worked, etc? What about overtime, is that mentioned? After you look over what you and your employer both agreed to in your contract, you should know whether you have a legal foot to stand on or not. Perhaps you should consult a lawyer as was previously mentioned several times.
      Regardless of this, though, try talking to your supervisors as human beings, before the lawyers. Ask why they want you to carry a cell 24×7. Tell them, politely, that it is a serious detriment to your personal life and you feel it was never mentioned in the contract you signed (if that is the case). Always be polite, no matter how arrogant or idiotic they may be. They?re human beings too, and if you approach them politely they should do you the same turn and be more receptive to what you have to say. You may be surprised to find they’re not all jerks. Then again, you may find that they are, at which point you should seriously consider moving on, or pressing that lawsuit if it is indeed justified.
      Frankly, I have no problem “going the extra mile” for the company, however you can’t allow yourself to be used. If you have a legal foot to stand on, that?s great, but don’t flaunt it to them or you’ll seem to be an ass. Drop the confrontational attitude (if it exists) and remember that you?re all in it together for the time being.

    • #2719294


      by rayg314 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Not to get into the legal issues, already addressed, but other points many respondents have not raised:
      a) Does upper administration know the number and nature of calls you receive?
      b) Can you throttle back on the number of calls? Can you arrange to get only true emergency ones?

    • #2719283

      24/7 (EMERGENCY!) use only

      by senior program analyst ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I am a single I.T. person myself at this site. Im basically on call 24/7/365. However I do get vacation time and make sure I plan it were cell phone and pager do not operate and in most cases no phone is readily available (canoeing rivers etc.)
      During the time I am around, I have made it known that General how to, applications, and individual PC issues are not CRITICAL and will not be dealt will until my normal business hours. They can always ask someone else how to format a spread sheet or use a different PC to get through their shift if necessary. Only call if the network as a whole is down, Whole Critical Databases are corrupted etc.; Even then I will determine if they can live until I get in the office normally.
      Ive had two vacations ruined from CRITICAL problems over the past 10 years, but they usually will compensate with extra time off on a later date.

    • #2719257

      This is what the IRS Says!

      by michael.n.jones ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      We recently went corporate wide to….hourly! Our Company has the policy if you do not have direct reports then you are hourly. this came from some new IRS policies placed on the IT Enviroment.

    • #2719242

      It’s a Dilbert World

      by rscotty ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Two things: 1. It’s doubtful you can work this out. I’t probably the start of things to come. 2. Dilbert is not a cartoon. It’s reality. Start reading Dilbert books (not just the cartoons) – it’s not humor anymore. It’s reality. You can learn how today’s management thinks by reading Dilbert. Don’t wait too long to walk away and get a different job. Chest pains from stress, paxil and being unhappy is not a way to live.

    • #2719236

      I’m in close position

      by blarman ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      The Department of Labor posts rules on overtime provisions for technical support personnel:

      The $23,660 limit may not help you much.

      My position is very similar. I have a normal 40 hr/week job, but am on call 24/7. My contract provides for a minimum fixed amount for an interruption, which doubles if I actually have to go into work to address an issue. The biggest thing is to force them to pay for the calls. If not, you’ll NEVER get any free time because you will NEVER actually leave work.

      To get management to pay for the calls, explain to them – forcefully if necessary – that your ability to keep the company systems running depends on you having downtime on a DAILY basis. If they still refuse, then you may have to play hardball. I would start by getting ahold of the job description. If there isn’t one, go back to the hiring interview and get the outline of the position expectations. Since this 24/7 thing was recent, it’s not going to be on that agreement. As such, you can use that job description to inform management that the 24/7 support was not part of your duties, and that they are going to have to give you a raise to compensate for the additional duties. But DO NOT settle for a flat rate. Make sure it is PER CALL. And I wouldn’t settle for your current hourly wage either – tack on an after-hours premium (say 50%) or so.

      As soon as you get this maintenance plan in place and management gets the first bill, they will curtail the calls.

      And if they absolutely refuse, you have two options – sue, or look elsewhere.

    • #2719235

      Welcome to the real world pal

      by johnhillen ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      This how a lot of us live. Ever the optimist, I would use these “opportunities” to make myself invaluable to the employer. Provide not only an immediate solution, but systematic changes that lower call volume. In any event, keep records. Your assertions of “intrusions” are just hot air unless you provide real data. Use this as proof that you need a beautiful 20yo blonde assistant!!! Good luck – and remember, you’re fortunate to have this job, make it geat.

    • #2719195

      Use it as Leverage

      by jon.marra ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I am in the same position. The interruptions are endless, and bothersome. However, that is our job to ensure that the users are able to use their systems effective.y. I take another approach and use these interuptions as leverage. Everytime someone questions may committment or work hours, I bring up the fact they are not tethered to a cell phone. USE IT AS LEVERAGE to make your job easier and more enjoyable.

    • #2719189

      Inherited Responsibilities?

      by phelms ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Did you inherit part of someone’s job who was let go?
      It sounds like there needs to be more than one person
      taking these calls, but if your company is downsizing, it
      might not be possible to get additional help or
      additional compensation.

      If your company is doing well, however, that’s another

    • #2718827

      Just turn it off!

      by steve jones ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      When you don’t want to answer, or if ther are too many calls, just turn it off. Simple as that.

      If you know enough that the people are calling you all the time, they won’t fire you.

    • #2718814

      it’s not a job. it’s slavery

      by em1406 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Hi all!

      In Brazil this kind of job is ilegal, suitable to law sue. My sugestion is: Get the real and clear job description, get some infos from what is the salary paid and then talk to your boss. If you not able to solve the deal, then go to another company

      Best Regards


    • #2718807


      by nighttech ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Being self employed I offer my clients that type of service. However?, I ONLY answer to my clients and my wife…Hopefully, this was something you understood when getting hired.

      If you’re unhappy?, well….time to look for another job. I have a positiion open for only 12 hours a day! 0:>…..LOL!

      • #2718644

        this is how i worked 24/7

        by psmith9 ·

        In reply to hmmmmmmmmmmm

        I am a tech for a very large company and am hourly and I worked 24/7 supporting high end printers for six years. When I was “on call” (on standby) after the end of a regular work day I would get an hour of pay for every 4 hours of standby even during my sleep. If I was called out I went to time and a half and was guaranteed 4 hours for the callout even if it took less time. after 12 hours of work in any given day it went to double time. saturdays was the same rate 1 for 4 and sundays were one hour pay for 2 hours standby and double time if called out. this company is very conscious of how the law reads and you are well advised to track your time and get legal advice and look at the post regarding the new irs ruling. if you must stay there get your manager to put “in writing” his/her expectations of your off hours duties so your lawyer can use it later when you’ve had enough and decide to sue. also ask for a written company policy that says you are not to be compensated for work beyond the normal work day.

    • #2718796

      unilateral works both ways

      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      First, I am confused by how many calls there can be, unless the by administrative you mean system administration. Second, who has the cell phone/pager number? Perhaps asking that it be restricted to those with a need to know would help. Until then, isn?t caller ID a wonderful thing!!!
      As far as tracking time goes, do you have access to the billing records? That will track and verify your calling time and pages.
      Also, answering isn?t available. Live your life. If they call at a party, stand next to the speakers. Sunday morning at 3AM? 2 sheets to the wind, even 3 is not unreasonable. If there cannot be a rotation, they get you as and where you are.
      Finally, leave messages for your boss as to why you are coming in late or leaving early. Unilateral job changes can work both ways.”Oh I just assumed I get comp time” can be the wedge to get it on the table
      Good luck

    • #2718792

      Seek Legal Council or Dep’t of Labor

      by sql_joe ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You need to seek legal advice, or contact the Federal Department of Labor, you can do it online, and they do respond quickly.

      Your overtime issue will depend on if you meet the Labor Code’s definition of “creative professional” or not. The Federal Labor Code does specify in an exception that a certain class of Technical Workers are protected (and thus eligable for overtime) if they don’t meet the criteria of a creative professional. An example: A programmer is a creative professional, a PC Repair Tech is not. Depending on the job you actually do (the department of labor will want your job description, but they will also want to know exactly what you do) is how it will be determined if you qualify.

    • #2718780

      Welcome to my world.

      by vaxenguy ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I am assuming you’re in IT. With that assumption in mind, first is a question? How did you escape from the 24/7 mold in the first place?

      Most of the senior operations staff is 24×7. Most, if not all, of the programming staff is 24×7.

      Computers run 24×7. They break. Your people get the opportunity to fix them and report to you as to the status of the problem. And all you have to do is act on the status. If that means you’re called at church, a social function, in the bathroom, asleep—you take the call. If the situation warrants it, you call your boss (why should you have all the fun?). And this becomes the pattern for EVERY problem in your area.

      Several things THEN begin to happen: (1) more complete training for your staff; (2) better problem-solving tool for your staff; (3) alternate numbers on WHO to call for what problem AND when to call YOU for a problem. How will this happen?

      From personal experience (I’ve been 24×7 on my last 4 jobs–over 20yrs). For each phone call, I get the on-site folks to gather all the necessary information, then guide them to a resolution. Usually, I would “visit” the site, one or two times, make note of the mileage traveled & time of response – to time of completion, show the on-site folks how the problem could be solved by themselves (and they get credit on their annual review). Then turn in your mileage and time stats to your boss AND HR. Ask them for compensation–if they agree, fill out the mileage report. You can work with your boss to determine if you have to come in and work, will you be paid for this time, or will they allow you to take time off for the extra time you spent working.

      Above all: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Keep your copy at home. Put all compensation decisions in your notes.

      If the company balks at compensation, money or time, start looking for another company. When you find another job, MAKE SURE that the reasons you are leaving are spelled out and in writing. Keep your at-home copy in a safe place — it’s YOUR version of what happened. And if it can be augmented by copies of what you received at work, then by all means, make it so.

      After all, if you work, you MUST receive adequate compensation for your work. If you don’t, then there is always the courts. And THAT kind of publicity NO company wants.

      OTOH, for me, 24×7 is the normal course of work. But in my field, “Legacy Systems”, it’s more a point of honor to NOT have hardware problems. I’ve worked with computers that may not have been rebooted for years, and clusters that have been “up” for even longer. Most of the problems involve software, and that’s the perogative of the programmers.

      Good luck

    • #2718779

      Does your company charge its clients for your time?

      by meiso ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      If your company is charging its clients for your time, then it should definitely pay you for yours, and you should take that argument directly to senior management. You have a business relationship with your employer, and they should negotiate with you in good faith. Best of luck.

    • #2718771

      What do they do if…

      by dilbert-tom ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      What happens if/when you do not answer ?

      The best ‘revenge’ is to work very, very hard:
      1) Finding another job, Contracting is always hourly and never ‘administrative’ if the pay is the real issue. But get your resume together, and post it all over the Web, etc.
      2) Support the unreasonable policy the best that you humanly can – this can be quite satsfying…

      Once I had a ‘pressure-cooker’ position, on call for way, way too much. When I left they had to hire three people to take over my responsibilities (hee hee !), and their knowledge didn’t overlap nearly as well as mine ( [1] PC support, Networking support, [2] End-User Computing Support and [3] Mainframe Application Support).

    • #2718731

      My, how unfortunate..

      by k7aay ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      .. that your cellphone and pager do not work in your house, which has metal screening in the sheetrock (as does my ca. 1964 CBS {Concrete Block Structure} home).

      It’s a darned shame that the reception on both is so erratic.

      About that time, they say, ‘you are required to provide your phone number’; and to this you reply, “I don’t have a home phone.. we went all-broadband and don’t need it any more. If you wish me to be on call, installing and maintaining a phone is a tax-deductible expense for employers, of if you require me to as a condition of employment, just sign this letter to the IRS so I may have one installed and deduct it from my taxes.”

      Employers may jerk you around, but rarely do they jerk around the IRS.

    • #2718726

      You’re Stuck

      by rlast ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I hate to say this, but you’re stuck with it; like the other guy said, welcome to the world of IT middle management.

      Your solution is to track over the long term the number and the time of the interruptions and what you did for each intrusion. With luck and 6 months of data, you might be able to make a case that you are entitled to an increase in compensation for these intrusions.

      If you live in Northeast Ohio, forget. We’re 15 years behind the rest of the country. Good Luck

      Just know that you’re not alone!

    • #2718723

      Life isn’t always fair

      by bdonahue ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Yup, I share your pain and have done the 24/7 with no thank you’s or “Atta guy! Well done” and you’re right, it seems unfair. But I have to say you can always fire your boss and get a new job. The best advise, be patient and try to work something out with you boss. If the hours that you spend on the phone in your private time are excessive, log them, show your boss an then ask for a little more personal time. Maybe leave work early. It’s always like not working if you are not in the building. Even if you have the phone.

    • #2718690

      done that

      by jjhauto ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      had a similar thing a long time ago. easily solved. if you like the place and the job put up with it. if not, check to make sure your status is exempt, not just salaried. salaried does not always mean you are an exempt employee. salaried must still be compensated for over 40 hours. exempt does not normally get this, but some places tried to keep the over 40 rule with non-exempt to keep people. also find out who calls, why they call, and who actually has the authority to call. My big step to solving a lot of calls was to work with peers and users and set up high level calls to me only by same rank or higher and sometimes same required approval first. helped a lot. i also put the pager on my desk to see if it was used because my pager number was listed where my at work phone should have been. I have also known many a person to terminate the salaried position for an hourly one even though there was some less of most things. Salaried is not always the best thing, and if this is,or was, a promotion you do not always have to accept it.
      good luck.

    • #2718668

      24/7 is a reality

      by joe_l4 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      A couple of things to consider:

      1) What does your employment agreement or contract states, eg. there could be a clause defining your obligation to response to a 24/7 task
      2) Compensation may come in many forms and it may or may not be stipulated in the contract, eg. the amount of intrusions can equate to late arrival to your office the next day or even an off day
      3) There IS such a thing as standby allowance (weekly or monthly) and/or call-out allowance (on-site work) which may MNCs practise and recognise
      4) You need to track your “intrusive” calls base on incidents or problems in a formal and well documented manner for future references to a request or concurrence for compensation in whatever form or even justification of your tardiness at times
      5) Last but not least, if the kitchen is too HOT for you, get out.

    • #2718658

      Stuck unfortunately.

      by judy62 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Here in Australian, a vast majority of salaried Managers are on 24 x 7 with no extra salary. Occassionally we are allowed a day here of there in which we can have to ourselves, so long are we arranged for someone else to cover. It is deemed that being in management and suport staff that you are already adequately compenstaed

      • #2718652

        Like others have posted

        by rmkjr ·

        In reply to Stuck unfortunately.

        Seek legal advice *and*
        document, document,document.
        I’m [in theory] on call 24/7 but almost never get calls, but when I do, I put in to my boss & I get compensated. Let others in you office [boss, HR, ect] know that the reason you are coming to work half asleep & your performance may noy be up to par is because you are spending a lot of time on support, when you should be sleeping. Otherwise, when review time comes around, you could get a bad review because of it, And another reason to consult legal advice is that getting less sleep could [and will, if continued,over time] result in medical problems.

        And other people who have posted that because you are salaried/manangement, you are compensated, well that may have been true. I remember 5-10 yrs ago, if you were a manager and/or a salaried employee, there were ‘perks’ [higher salery, flexible hours, ect.] that came with the position, but no more. Things have tighened down so that it a lot of the times, it’s better to be on a time clock, than salaried [no pun intended].

    • #2718636

      I totally sympathise…

      by corrielein ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I can totally sympathise with your position. I am the sole IT support person for 8 sites and over 60 users. I have no company cellphone, I get called at weekends and recently when I was on holiday abroad on my own personal phone. When I raised this with the boss, the response was “well I’m afraid that’s life!” I get absolutely no compensation of any sort and basically it stinks. Suffice to say, I’m now scanning the job pages daily. Good luck with sorting your problem out – hope you have more success than I did!

    • #2718586

      Salary Sucks – Hourly Is Best! Take Charge!

      by at computers ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Salary Positions In The Management World Comes With Every Responsibility A Company Can Throw At Ya. It’s Legal, If You Hold A Salary Position And The Company Issues Cell Phones, Pagers or Radio’s To The Salary Staff, You Have 24/7 Responsibility. Please Note, When I Was Offered An Salary Position In Management, I Refused The Salary Pay Plan And Req

    • #2718580

      Salary Sucks – Hourly Is Best! Take Charge!

      by at computers ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Salary Positions In The Management World Comes With Every Responsibility A Company Can Throw At Ya. It’s Legal, If You Hold A Salary Position And The Company Issues Cell Phones, Pagers or Radio’s To The Salary Staff, You Have 24/7 Responsibility. Please Note, When I Was Offered An Salary Position In Management, I Refused The Salary Pay Plan And Requested Hourly Rate! Which The Company Was Happy To Do So. Remember, When Offered A Management Position It Is Wise To Request An Hourly Position Over Salary! Why? When Your Salary, You Have A Position Responsibility That Requires You To Be There 24/7 As Requested By The Company. You May Work More Hours And Still Get Paid The Same As Last Week! When Hourly! Like Me, I’m On Call 24/7 And I Make Sometimes More Than The CEO Per Week. It’s Wise Too Choose Hourly Over Salary. Basically You Get Paid The Same But You Have The Option Of Collecting Time & Half, Double Time, And Rolling In More Time At Work And Bringing More Money Home Each Week! Remember This, Big Companies Who Offer Their Employees Salary Positions, Take Note, This Is A Big Jump And A Big Responsibility, You May Discuss Your Payroll With The Human Resources Before You Decide To Take The Position. Company Offer Salary, But You As The Employee Has A Right To Request The Position As An Hourly Rate! This Is Legal! You Don’t Beleive Me, Call Your Local State Labor Board And Ask Them! They Will Tell You The Same As I Described. Salary Sucks! Hourly Is Best!

    • #2718178

      Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      by dba doc ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I remember my grandfather telling me stories of the Depression. He worked his 10 or 12 hour day. Went home for supper. And then returned to work for 4 hours of unpaid work. He had to. If he didn’t do it, there were plenty of guys who would.
      I sometimes feel like that. My organization expects it. And we let them get away with it.

    • #2718171

      State Laws Vary – Federal Apply to All

      by plzhelp ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Call the Federal Labor Department – Wage & Salary Division and your State Dept of Labor.
      One very important bit of information you need to provide is are you in a managment position that has the right to hire and fire employees you manage, or does someone above you have the final say in those matters. There are also a few other questions like that when compiled determine if you are “salaried management” under the Federal Guidelines. When you have that determination, you also need to see if you are in a “right to work State” I have always gone through the Federal Agencies to find out labor information and have then turned to the State’s Legal Department for advise on how to pursue the issue. I would not just pick an attorney out of the phone book, if you do this at least make sure the person specializes only in Labor Law. You must keep detailed records – a log of every call, the amount of time spent on that call and mileage(if any) required to return to work after hours, if you want to have the ability to recoup any possible overtime . Good Luck.

      • #2718119


        by slartibartfast ·

        In reply to State Laws Vary – Federal Apply to All

        The real criteria that I’ve found is the number of FTE’s that you manage. If you are *solely* responsible for 2 or more FTE’s then you’re salaried, otherwise you’re probably set for a good case for hourly and overtime.


    • #2718147

      Been there and I won!

      by kuki_cat ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I was in Colorado the law states that in order to be ‘salaried’ the administration personell MUST have hire & fire responsibilities. My employer never gave those powers to many of the management team. Someone (not me) turned the company in to the state labor board and after an investigation most of the Mangagers were on an hourly basis.

      Not only that the state forced the employer to dig back 3 years and compensate all formally salaried employees for their ‘average’ hours per week for those 3 years. I had a really good payday believe me!

      We were all protected from retaliation by the state and all of a sudden I was working 40 hours a week and getting overtime when I needed to put in extra hours.

      I’ve since moved on but I’ll remember that for the rest of my life. 🙂

    • #2718094

      They don’t realize what you know

      by jfp ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Your employers probably don’t realize how many calls that you get after hours, they may have been thinking of this as more of an emergency coverage thing, not a call for every minor thing. Keep track of every call you take, how long you spend on the call, and the severity of the issue. Submit a report on this to your boss on a weekly or monthly basis and follow up with a discussion of what can be done to lighten the load as salaried doesn’t mean slavery.

    • #2718049

      Extra work 4 extra pay

      by laray01 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      There is 2 considerations:

      1-There must be a ceiling of the total number of hours you’re expected to be working/available per day, week or pay period without compensation review (it should be covered as part of your compensation package or contract).

      2-You will need to review the work laws of your state for a better view of your path forward.

    • #2718048

      Salary Vs Hourly

      by data-ware ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      If your management your salary and along with that salary comes certain expectations, I.e being available most times and answering your phone at 3:00am. Thats why they place management on salary, its easier for them to justify working you 24/7. And no there is no law against this. I strongly urge you to read the fine print in your contract under a stipulation clause or and employee expectation clause. Or go back to hourly.

    • #2718029

      Tell them to take a hike..nicely

      by harley.james ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I used to work for a hi-tech firm who’s name I won’t mention. I had to travel a lot for this firm because I was IT instructor. They felt because I was away from head office so much I should have a cell phone which they offered to give to me for FREE!!!! I politely told them to keep their cell phone. I taught classes from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. After 4pm is MY TIME and that’s the way I kept it. By the way, the LAW states you do not have to be on call 24/7. See a good lawyer and if they fire you, sue for unlawful dismissal like I did and won.

    • #2718025

      Training? Documentation?

      by allisen ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      The best way to handle this if you want to stay in that job is to make it so they can get along without you. Document things, delegate things, or otherwise take some of the load off. If there are simple things others could easily handle but don’t know how, maybe you should train them so that people aren’t calling you at home all hours of the night. Good luck!

    • #2718016


      by vltiii ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Most people for whatever reason don’t realize that having a job is a two way relationship. The employer has expectations of the employee just as the employee has expectation of their employer. If you have or want to establish limitations then my recommendation would be to schedule a meeting with you boss. During this meeting tactfully make them aware of what your limitations are. One thing you will have to consider however, is what you plan you will do if they don’t change the 24/7 requirement.

    • #2719789

      make the point

      by camjes ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      My free time is worth more to me than my paid time, there is less of it. I’m flexible, but it will be paid for at a premium if its a regular thing.
      On the second unpaid callout my response is-
      Yep I’ll be there in 3 hours, I’m 130 miles away up a tree/down a hole/bungee jumping/milking a cow/trimming my toenails, I actually have a life you know, and the phone battery is almost de..
      Can user wait that long?
      If user can, is it that important? (Who is paying for the users time ? If they are paid why cant you be? )
      If user can’t, then hire a contractor, and if you are a one man IT dept, (I am, for 12 sites, 120+ users) you must have one or two available, surely? (If the boss wont approve it, increase the distance or inaccessability of your weekend away next time!, is the boss available 24/7 to authorise expenses? I’d be making sure they are notified at EVERY turn of events 24/7! EVERY $ spent any time day or night.)
      Or come in 3 hours later, take 4 or more hours to sort it and make sure you “sleep” for the next 12 hours. Camp bed in your office perhaps, sounds like you may have one installed already, or it’s being planned for you.

      The alternative is talk to the boss! failing that, their boss. Sounds easier to me.
      If he/she aint reasonable its time to move on.
      Life is too short to waste half of it working for someone who doesnt appreciate your efforts.
      Legal action sux, just think do you still want to work for someone you take to court? I doubt it.

    • #2719731

      In BC they do

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I make more money being called outside buysiness hours than I do on contract.

      Law here states that if you are requested to work or receive work related enquiries by phone or other electronic device (fax, e-mail etc) you can bill for two hhours flat rate for the first two hours. If you are required to show up at work, even if fr five minutes, it is now four hours pay.

      I love it when I get called about a failed backup and have to go in and clean a drive and swap out a DAT tape on the weekend. 10 minutes onsite, four hours at time and a half.

      • #2719729


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to In BC they do

        Actually there is a way for BC businesses to avoid this and that’s by a written and time sensitive salary averaging agreement. This would entitle them to pay you a fixed salary based on variable hours of work. This way they don’t have to pay overtime (which even when on salary in BC must be paid based on your average hourly rate per pay period (whether bi-weekly or monthly).

    • #2719720


      by roshaan.kulpoo ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      4. SEEK guidance from your staff union as per the category of employee that you are.

      Taking into consideration the human aspect of it you also need to weigh the pros and cons in case allowance is given to you ( that is additional pay v/s impact on family/social life)

      You can also talk to colleagues working in the same company but facing similar problem. – Create alert through HR Dept

    • #2719719

      IT On call policy

      by mohammad570 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      On Call job is really a normal and regular assignment for IT business. After 7 years of working in IT i can confidently say that all IT business rely on continuous support. On call person is basically a technical guy who has many responsibilities, on call support is one of them, which is additionally requested from him. So IT managers shall look to this assignment individually and it must be separately charged. So On call person shall be payed for every non business hour that he spend in charge. The best excersize to do this is to estimate the cost per hour (business hour) for each on call person, add 50% for the non business hour. so if someone has a salary of $1600 per month, and work for 160 hour per month, so he earn $10 per business hour. In this case if he shall be on call he shall be payed $15 per each on call hour. Some companies define two kind of On call, Call-In, and call-Out. “Call in” is the same as i described, while “Call out” is when the on call person need to go onsite to fix a problem during the on call hours. Call Out hours usually is twice the cost of the Normal Hour if it happens during official holidays. On Call concept is totally different from work On-Shift basis, which is a job nature, so the employee shall not be paied against. But some IT Managers don’t differentiate between them. So the HR policy must be clear and obvious regarding this issue.

    • #2719698

      desperate times

      by raghu ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      I can only say this much, tough times call for desperate measure
      n I am not talking abt u, m talking abt the company who had to
      do this.

    • #2719607

      Document Everything

      by ballistabob ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Yes, Document Everything; date, time, nature of call, employee making request and resolution of problem. You will eventually need all of this information at hand wether you are trying to justify another person for coverage, a raise, or in a leagal situation. Most higher management only respond to cold hard data in these cases and you will need data from what is happening to how they are legally allowed to use you. Check with your state and federal Labor Relation Boards for that information.

    • #2701738

      Work out of office!

      by tampa hillbilly ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Cell and pager 24/7? Why go into the office at all, expcept to pick up the paycheck? They gave you the devices, make them use them too. Gradually make excuses on why you are late, but remind them you are available 24/7 under their plan. VPN and Remote Desktop will give you access to your work computer if needed. Sitting on a beach doing WiFi with a cell phone and pager has to be the ultimute telecommute job, dude!

    • #2701656

      A Physician’s Perspective

      by bpatty ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      As a physician of twenty years now entering a management role, I see this complaint all too often. And the solution could not be more clear: an “on call” rotation.

      A little history: Before the advent of the telephone, most physicians were in solo practices and covered all of their patients 24/7. When phones became prevalent, they realized this was physically not possible. So most physicians formed group practices with shared “call”. After hours only one physician in the gruop would be “on call” for the group as a whole, thus giving the other physicians much needed personal time off away from their practice. Any pressing issues with their patients would be passed on to the “call” physician in the form of a “sign off”. Thus if a call came from or about that patient, the on call MD would have some background to work with. The “post-call” physician would then pass on any issues that arose while he was on call to the primary MD for the patient.

      This same type of rotation seems to be well-suited for your current predicament. A group of middle managers could share the off hours calls. One person taking the calls for the others on a rotating basis, giving the off-call managers some needed time away from the job. This sharing of call has the added benefit of disseminating problems and thier solutions more quickly thru the organization and opening up lines of communication.

    • #2713112

      Call your boss

      by lat18 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      After being volunteered for nationwide duty and told there wouldn’t be that many calls I quickly found out my life and that of my family’s was being disturbed in the middle of the night, every night. I told my boss I was going to start calling him at three o?lock AM so he could experience this. He thought there were no problems. It took about three nights to have this rectified and the company actually hired a night time staff on the west coast to handle problems.


    • #2713740

      log your call times

      by a1deydreams ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      log the time your are on the phone for business… if you suddenly find that the hours at work, on the phone and afterhoursbrng you below min wage for the total time.. then by law (fairlabors standards act 1938) they must increase the pay…

    • #2713739

      log your call times

      by a1deydreams ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      log the time your are on the phone for business… if you suddenly find that the hours at work, on the phone and afterhoursbrng you below min wage for the total time.. then by law (fairlabors standards act 1938) they must increase the pay…

    • #2713404

      If you don’t ask, the answer is NO

      by flyers70 ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      You should definitely bring it up with your boss. If he/she doesn’t compensate you in some way, consider looking for another job. 24/7 support is a convenience that should be compensated; it is not a right.

    • #3261163

      Reply To: cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      by angry_white_male ·

      In reply to cellphones/salaried/noextrapay/legal?

      Start breaking/losing/dunking phones on a regular basis. They’ll get the point sooner or later.

      I carry a cell phone for work… if I get a call at 3:00 am, there better be smoke belching from the server room.

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