No Callback Minimum Payment For Telephone Calls At Home

A communications officer working for the Washington State Patrol participated in two work-related telephone calls while off duty. When the Patrol denied the dispatcher’s request for the payment of two three-hour callback minimum payments, the dispatcher’s labor organization, the Washington Public Employees Association, challenged the decision in arbitration.

An arbitrator upheld the Patrol’s denial. The Arbitrator concluded that the contract itself was ambiguous, thus allowing him to review negotiations history and past practice to determine the meaning of the contract. In the end, the Arbitrator found that the parties’ bargaining history was that an employee would actually have to physically return to work in order to be eligible for the callback minimum payment.

Washington State Patrol, LAIG 6525 (Greer, 2007).

This article appears in the December 2007 issue