It's illegal to compel staff to be on call without pay

June 18, 2013 

The illegal practice of requiring employees to be on call without monetary compensation plagues Sarasota and the rest of Florida.

I speak as a maintenance worker for a condo on Siesta Key which does weekly rentals, and I have worked for other rental condos which required me to be on call on my off time.

The rental condos are not the only abusers in illegal activities forcing employees to be on call without compensation for their personal time being restricted. Apartment complexes have the same policies and sometimes even worse.

With the threats of termination if you do not comply, the lagging job market limits your options.

The problem exists because lazy and incompetent management would rather pass on their responsibilities to the underpaid worker than do their job, or require the condo associations and businesses to compensate you properly.

The Fair Labor and Standards Act of 1938 establishes that: "The employee is restricted by official order to a designated post of duty and is assigned to be in a state of readiness to perform work with limitations on the employee's activities so substantial that the employee cannot use the time effectively for his or her own purposes. A finding that an employee's activities are substantially limited may not be based on the fact that an employee is subject to restrictions necessary to ensure that the employee will be able to perform his or her duties and responsibilities, such as restrictions on alcohol consumption or use of certain medications."

Facts are facts, what limits your activities on your off time still requires compensation. We have no unions to protect us, but the abuse must stop and knowing your rights is the first step in obtaining the compensation you deserve, and ending this unfair and illegal labor practice.

John Dickie


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