My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: Texas
I work in a technical field and my employer requires me to be on call 24/7 for one week every 4 weeks or about 13 times a year. During this week, I am required to respond in less than 20 minutes and "response" is not an acknowledgement but to actually start working the problem which require me to be in front of a computer with Internet access. I typically get 8-12 calls during the week I am on call and each call lasts 30 minutes to 2 hours.
This pretty much prevents me from doing anything that isn't 10-15 minutes from my house (it takes 5-10 minutes to get logged in and ready to start support) during the week I'm on call. I can't go out to dinner, go to a movie or really do much than go to the local grocery prepared to leave my basket if I get a call. I also get little sleep since many of the calls are at 2-3 AM.
I think this is "controlled" time but my employer says it is "part of the job description". Now that I have brought this up, my supervisor has threatened to "make me exempt" at the start of the year so that this "problem" goes away.
Surely I have options here or am I at the mercy of my employer?