Should I Get Paid for Waiting Time? On-call Time? (Potentially.)

Drivers, whether livery, cab, limousine, delivery, or otherwise, are regularly not compensated for time spent waiting for a fare, or “on-call,” or the time spent on ancillary activities such as loading and unloading the vehicle.  Pursuant to state and federal law, this time may be compensable depending on the circumstances.   If you work in one of these industries or another where you wait between jobs or are “on-call,” you may be able to compensation for that time, regardless of whether you signed an Agreement to the contrary. The US Supreme Court in Skidmore et al v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134, 137 (1944)   determined that the applicable standard is whether an employee was “engaged to wait” or “waiting to be engaged” by looking at the facts of each individual circumstances on a case by case basis.

The court did state factors in this determination included: the custom and nature of the industry and its relation to the waiting time, any existing arrangement between the employer and employee, and the “practical construction” of the working agreement by looking at conduct.  Another key factor the court considers is the how much personal activity can be engaged in during that waiting period. The last major factor in figuring out if the on-call time is compensable is whether the time spent was primarily for the benefit of the employer or the employee.