You work with the expectation that you will be paid by your employer. That's the deal, right? Otherwise, you are just volunteering. Unfortunately, there are some scenarios where you and your employer may not see eye-to-eye as to what constitutes work time. This can arise for employees who have to travel as part of their job, where an employer believes that you are traveling on your own time, while you believe that the opposite is true. Fortunately, you have legal rights which protect you.
California and Federal laws mandates that employers pay non-exempt employees for travel time spent on work-related purposes. The key question is whether you are under the "control" of your employer during your travel. Here are some common scenarios in which you are legally entitled to receive compensation.
· Alternative worksite. If you are required to report to a different worksite than normal, you can claim compensation for the travel time in excess of your normal commute time. This may include (but is not limited to) your employer's other physical locations, special project locations, or off-site meetings or consultations. If you must first check in at your normal worksite then travel to an alternative worksite, you can claim the entire trip to the alternative location and back as compensable time.
· Deliveries. Time on the road making job-related deliveries constitutes compensable time. This may include food, products, tools, etc.
· Extended or overnight travel. If you have to travel out of town for a job-related function, you are entitled to compensation for actual travel and wait time, such as travel to and from the airport, waiting at the airport, time on the plane, and checking into your hotel. However, you may not include personal time or leisure, such as sleeping, meals, or entertainment as work time.
Unfortunately, your daily commute between your home and your normal workplace does not count toward travel time. Even if you live far from your workplace or traffic is terrible, you cannot claim this time as work time. Further, this applies even if you are using an employer-provided vehicle. In addition, your company may implement a travel rate that is lower than your regular rate of pay, so long as it is not below minimum wage.
Call Moss Bollinger
If you are being denied compensation for your work-related travel time, you should speak with an attorney. The Federal laws and the California Labor Code offers you strong protections for your right to receive compensation for working. Contact Moss Bollinger today so that we can evaluate your claim. We charge no fees up front and do not get paid unless you do. If you want a lawyer to fight for your rights, call Moss Bollinger today at 800-249-1175 for a free consultation or reach us online.