Thank you again.
First, if you are based in CA then California law would generally protect you. This is significant here because California law is more employee-friendly on the issue of compensable travel time than is federal law or the law in most other states (which defer to federal law).
I will quote the CA Labor Commissioner, which described an employer's obligation to pay for travel time for out of town events as follows:
"Under state law, if an employer requires an employee to attend an out—of—town business meeting, training session, or any other event, the employer cannot disclaim an obligation to pay for the employee's time in getting to and from the location of that event. Time spent driving, or as a passenger on an airplane, train, bus, taxi cab or car, or other mode of transport, in traveling to and from this out—of—town event, and time spent waiting to purchase a ticket, check baggage, or get on board, is, under such circumstances, time spent carrying out the employer's directives, and thus, can only be characterized as time in which the employee is subject to the employer’s control. Such compelled travel time therefore constitutes compensable “hours worked. ” On the other hand, time spent taking a break from travel in order to eat a meal, sleep, or engage in purely personal pursuits not connected with traveling or making necessary travel connections (such as, for example, spending an extra day in a city before the start or following the conclusion of'a conference in order to sightsee) , is not compensable." (Source)
So, to answer your question directly, the travel time that you are engaged in should be compensable under CA law because it is time during which you are under the control of your employer carrying out their interests. This is despite the fact that federal law only requires employers to pay for travel time to the extent that such time "cuts across the regular workday." Accordingly, you may wish to consider filing a wage claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement to enforce your right to unpaid travel time. You may also wish to begin closely documenting your travel time so that it is more easy for you to prove the unpaid hours you worked for which you weren't paid.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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