Employment Waiting Time Law and Legal Definition

The main law governing the compensation of waiting time on the job is the Federal Labor Standards Act. While an employee is on-duty, all waiting time is compensated. While an employee is off-duty, however, but required to be on-call, the time during which the employer controls the employee's time may be compensable. If the employee cannot use their time effectively for their own purposes, then the time may be compensable. Whether or not waiting time must be compensated depends on the degree to which the employees are free to engage in personal activities during on-call time, agreements regarding on-call time between the employer and the employee, whether there are on-premise living requirements, the amount of time spent by the employee handling on-call duties, or whether using a pager can ease restrictions.

Generally, under the Federal Labor Standards Act, if employees are not required to remain on the employer's premises but are required to leave a way to be contacted and are sufficiently free to use their off duty time for personal purposes, then compensation may not be required.