49 USC 21104 - Limitations on duty hours of signal employees

(a) General.— 

(1) In paragraph (2)(C) of this subsection, 24-hour period means the period beginning when a signal employee reports for duty immediately after 8 consecutive hours off duty or, when required under paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection, after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a railroad carrier and its officers and agents may not require or allow a signal employee to remain or go on duty
(A) unless that employee has had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty during the prior 24 hours;

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(B) after that employee has been on duty for 12 consecutive hours, until that employee has had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty; or
(C) after that employee has been on duty a total of 12 hours during a 24-hour period, or after the end of that 24-hour period, whichever occurs first, until that employee has had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty.
(b) Determining Time on Duty.— 
In determining under subsection (a) of this section the time a signal employee is on duty or off duty, the following rules apply:
(1) Time on duty begins when the employee reports for duty and ends when the employee is finally released from duty.
(2) Time spent performing any other service for the railroad carrier during a 24-hour period in which the employee is engaged in installing, repairing, or maintaining signal systems is time on duty.
(3) Time spent returning from a trouble call, whether the employee goes directly to the employees residence or by way of the employees headquarters, is neither time on duty nor time off duty, except that up to one hour of that time spent returning from the final trouble call of a period of continuous or broken service is time off duty.
(4) If, at the end of scheduled duty hours, an employee has not completed the trip from the final outlying worksite of the duty period to the employees headquarters or directly to the employees residence, the time after the scheduled duty hours necessarily spent in completing the trip to the residence or headquarters is neither time on duty nor time off duty.
(5) If an employee is released from duty at an outlying worksite before the end of the employees scheduled duty hours to comply with this section, the time necessary for the trip from the worksite to the employees headquarters or directly to the employees residence is neither time on duty nor time off duty.
(6) Time spent in transportation on an ontrack vehicle, including time referred to in paragraphs (3)(5) of this subsection, is time on duty.
(7) A regularly scheduled meal period or another release period of at least 30 minutes but not more than one hour is time off duty and does not break the continuity of service of the employee under this section, but a release period of more than one hour is time off duty and does break the continuity of service.

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(c) Emergencies.— 
A signal employee may be allowed to remain or go on duty for not more than 4 additional hours in any period of 24 consecutive hours when an emergency exists and the work of that employee is related to the emergency. In this subsection, an emergency ends when the signal system is restored to service.