Employees are often unsure of what constitutes paid travel time and what falls under unpaid commuting time, and rightfully so as the specifics of which is which can be confusing. When you work in a position where the line is blurred, it is possible that you are leaving money behind, simply by not knowing exactly when you should be on the clock.
The U.S. Department of Labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Department of Industrial Relations provide the federal and state mandates regarding who gets paid for their time when it comes to driving and traveling on the company’s control. And the word “control” has a lot to do with whether you are paid for your time or not.
What Are the Basic Laws of Drive and Travel Time?
First and foremost, it is important to understand, and we think that most people do, that commuting from work to home is not considered work time in the State of California.
However, if the California employee is operating under the company’s control by:
- Picking up or dropping off work-related materials at a central location on the way to work, the time between that location and the balance of the trip to work IS work time and should be paid by the employer
- Traveling overnight, or traveling away from home, IS always considered work time under California Law; However, regular meal periods and time spent sleeping, or time spent away from work activity when traveling is not work time, and the employer does not have to pay for that period of time
- Traveling to a location for a special assignment or emergency outside of normal work hours is compensable by the employer
- Attending a mandatory remote conference and/or meeting, including the time traveling to and from the meeting, and the time spent in the conference or meeting is to be paid by the employer
- Riding in company-controlled vehicles, where the employee is unable to perform personal tasks is time to be paid by the employer — as is the time spent waiting for the vehicle
Once an employee arrives at their work location, any work-related travel occurring during the day is paid travel time. If you are not receiving payment for work-related travel, our employment law attorney would like to help you recover the wages you are entitled to.
If you believe your travel time should be paid and is part of the stricter California state law mandate than its federal counterpart, contact our experienced employment law attorney in Orange County at Eldessouky Law by calling (714) 831-5342 to discuss your case during a free and confidential evaluation today. You deserve to be paid for the entire time you are working. Allow our law firm to help you discover the best route to demanding compensation.