On-Call Policy

Title: On-Call Policy
Effective Date: December 9, 2016
Revision Date:  First Version
Responsible Office:  Human Resources

I. Scope

This policy applies to Hourly, Operational and Classified non-exempt (as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act) employees of William & Mary and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (the “university”).

II.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to department and unit heads, managers, and supervisors regarding the process and procedures to be followed for Hourly and Operational non-exempt employees who are required to maintain their availability after hours and be on-call to come back to work or to otherwise be available to respond to emergency situations on campus.  This policy is consistent with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the university’s Compensation Policy.

III.  Policy and Procedures

A. Identification and Notification

Departments should identify positions and employees who are required as a condition of employment to be on-call to come back to work outside of the employee’s regular shift.                                             

Once management identifies these positions, the employee should be notified in writing that the essential functions of his or her job requires the employee to maintain an on-call status on either an intermittent or regularly scheduled basis.  The employee’s position description should also be updated accordingly.

B. On-Call Requirements

Management should provide employees who are required to be on-call with a schedule of the time and date that the employee must be on-call.  In addition, the following guidelines apply:

  • Unless otherwise advised, the employee is not required while on-call to remain on the university’s premises.  However, the employee must remain available by telephone, text or pager while off site and respond to any message within fifteen (15) minutes.
  • If an emergency requires the employee to return to campus, he or she must do so within 1 hour of responding to the message.
  • The employee is not required to restrict his or her activities while on-call, but the employee must remain free of the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. In addition, the employee should not take any prescription drug that adversely affects his or her ability to safely and effectively perform his or her job duties.  If an employee has a medical condition and has concerns about complying with this requirement, the employee should consult with the Office of Human Resources.
  • If the employee has a conflict and is unable to be on-call during his or her assigned time, it is the employee’s obligation to pre-arrange with his or her immediate supervisor for a replacement to cover the employee’s on-call shift.
  • Employees who fail to respond when called and/or who fail to find a replacement are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Department of Human Resources Management Policy Manual Standards of Conduct Section 1.60.

C. On-Call Pay

  • Employees will receive 1 hour of on-call pay at their regular rate for each 8-hour shift of on-call status.
  • If an employee is called to come back to work while he or she is on-call, the employee is paid for hours actually worked, subject to a minimum of 2-hours of call-back compensation for the on-call shift.  This 2-hour of call-back pay counts as time worked for purposes of calculating overtime and is paid in addition to the 1-hour of on-call pay.
  • An employee receives a minimum of 2-hours of call-back pay for each time that an employee is called back to work during each 8-hour shift, up to a maximum of 8 hours.
  • EXAMPLE:
    • If an employee has already worked 40 hours when he or she is on-call, he or she will receive 1-hour of on-call pay for the 8-hour on-call shift.  This hour does not count as hours worked for purposes of calculating overtime and is paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay.
    • In addition, if the employee is called to come back to work and then works for 30 minutes, the employee will receive 2-hours of call-back pay that will be paid at his or her overtime rate. So, in this example, the employee will be paid 41 hours at his or her regular rate (40 regular hours + 1 hour of on-call pay), and he or she will receive an additional 2-hours of call-back pay that will be paid at the overtime rate.
    • If, by way of further example, an employee is called to come back to work three times during an 8-hour shift, and if the employee works less than one hour during each of the three call backs, the employee receives 1-hour of on-call pay and 6-hours of call-back pay at the overtime rate (which is a minimum of two hours for each of the three times that the employee was called back to work during the 8 hour shift.)
    • If the employee is called back three times and works 30 minutes in the first two call backs and then 3 hours in the third call back, the employee will receive 1-hour of on-call pay and an additional 7-hours of call-back pay at the overtime rate (which is a minimum of two hours for the first two call backs and then 3 hours for time actually worked for the third call back.)
    • Commuting time to the university is not counted as hours worked if the employee is on-call and called back to work.  Work time begins upon arrival to work and ends upon clocking out and leaving work.
    • If the employee has an unplanned absence during his or her shift immediately prior to the on-call duty, the employee will forfeit the 1-hour of on-call pay for the 8-hour shift of on-call status.

IV.  Authority, Interpretation and Amendment

The President has delegated to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration the authority to revise or amend this policy at any time.

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for the administration and implementation of this policy.

V.  Related  Policies, Procedures and Other Documents   

Hours of Work and Overtime Policy
Department of Human Resources Management Policy Manual Standards of Conduct Section 1.60 (pdf)
Compensation Policy (for Professionals and Operational Employees)