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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15762
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I work new employer who provides a fleet vehicle

Customer Question

Hello, I work for a new employer who provides a fleet vehicle for me to do my work only (pest control). i start work from home and return back home at the end of the day. i do not have an office or warehouse to report to. The vehicle is a fringe benefit that according to them, does not fall under federal guidelines, so i don't have to report any personal mileage because frankly, i can't use it for that purpose anyway. here is the question. the employer states that they can "dock" up to 45 minutes, of my drive time, each way (from my home to my first stop, and from my last stop to home) as a reimbursement to them. is this legal? employer states its a federal guideline but i cant find anything similar to this situation. only thing i can find is my first and last stop of the day can be considered "temporary workplaces" the drive to and from those places is not considered a commute and cant be considered a taxable fringe benefit.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. If by "dock" you mean simply not pay you, or pay for that time and then reduce by the actual time that it takes to drive to your first location, they're correct.
Travel time to and from the office generally is not paid, but travel time during the day (aside from the initial trip to and from the office) is to be paid. Time spent in home-to-work travel by an employee in an employer-provided vehicle, or in activities performed by an employee that are incidental to the use of the vehicle for commuting, generally is not "hours worked" and, therefore, does not have to be paid. This provision applies only if the travel is within the normal commuting area for the employer's business and the use of the vehicle is subject to an agreement between the employer and the employee or the employee's representative.
Now if your "office" was your home, and you had to travel, any travel time would be compensable. But the key is that your "office" is the vehicle. If the agreement is to pay you only from arrival at first site to the end of the last job, then those terms would likely prevail. An arrangement like you described is not uncommon and, if you think about it, is similar to an office job, which wouldn't pay you for your commute.
The "first commute" and "last commute" of the day is usually not compensable, unless you can show that the commute is FROM your office (i.e. if you're a telecommuting employee that works at home).
Now ultimately the "45 minutes" is simply a policy. That is, there's really no straight line Federal or state policy that governs a specific time period, but 45 minutes was determined by them (most likely) to be within what's allowed and not considered to be the employer abusing this law.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

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