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Question regarding Scheduling / OT / On-Call

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  • Question regarding Scheduling / OT / On-Call

    I am curious as to how deputies / officers for smaller Sheriff's Department or PD's in North Dakota are required to essentially be on-call during their off-times without compensation for being on-call or when they are actually called out.

    In the small ND city where I live, the officer puts in his 8 hour day working the road, but must remain by his phone and is subject to being called out at 10pm for a littering complaint or a barking dog or a serious crime. The officer does not receive on-call compensation or OT when he is called out and responds. Essentially, during his time off between shifts he cannot do anything (have a beer while watching the game, go fishing / hunting or leave town).

    I would understand this concept if the officer received some sort of compensation for being on-call or when he is called out but he gets the same pay check if he works 40 hours or 100 hours during the week.

    Is there some sort of state law that allows for Counties and Cities to force their officers / deputies to be working (being on-call) all the time. Can I call the city auditor and public works guys at 3am to ask about assessments and road repairs? I would guess not!

    This is just a question I have pondered and have not been able to find a good answer. Maybe you can guide me in the right direction. Yeah, I know this is the job they signed up for so save that talk for a later discussion.

  • #2
    Is the officer paid a flat monthly salary or is he an hourly worker?
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Before we went to 24/7 coverage, we were on call from 0200-0600. We were paid $5 a day if on call and then hourly if we were called out ($5 is not enough to get woken up).

      The reality is mandatory on-call time is legal is all 50-states if the employer deems it. I believe if you look at the job description there is most likely a line in there talking about being on call/having your phone with you.

      The North Dakota Department of Labor does not have any regulations in place regarding law enforcement. However, the Feds do and according to FLSA, Police departments with 5 or less officers have an "exempt" status. Exempt meaning officers are not entitled to the overtime. So essentially they CAN make an officer be on call 24/7 and they DON'T have to pay them for it.

      Its unfortunate, but its the reality in a lot of small North Dakota towns.
      Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

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      • #4
        Ahh. I see. Another reason why I would not want to work for a small agency.

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        • #5
          Most decent agency's pay there guys OT for getting called out, but there are many really small ones that put the shaft to their officers
          "What the problem is?"

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