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I am employed by an electrical contrctor in Shoemakersville,

Customer Question

I am employed by an electrical contrctor in Shoemakersville, PA and working on a site in Perth Amboy, NJ. I drive 2 hours each way every day, meeting at the shop to load up in the morning and unload at the end of the day. I have been getting paid straight time for those driving hours. I am getting 60 hours straight time per week doing this. By my calculations it adds up to almost $2k if OT pay is required.
Submitted: 9 months ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 9 months ago.
Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

The employer is not correct in its interpretation of the law. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law that controls this matter. Under the FLSA regulations travel time that is all in a days work is compensable and counts toward overtime. In other words, if you have 20 hours in a week just driving and are spending an additional 40 hours doing electrical work, then you are owed 40 hours straight time and 20 hours time and a half.

If your employer is not going to pay you this overtime, then the non-payment is a wage violation of the FLSA. You can report the violation to the Department of Labor - Wage & Hour Division. The Department will investigate the matter and try to resolve the matter with the employer. Finally, if the employer is not willing to pay, then the Department will likely sue the employer on your behalf. If you have to do this then I'd recommend you file a charge with the Department at its website here.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2790
Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Does PA law affect this at all. PA law provides that travel time may be paid at minimum wage I believe I read somewhere. However there is also a stipulation that to change your wage the employer must notify in writing before the next pay not sure if that would apply at all.


 


There is also the clause that when fedaral and PA law conflict whichever one has greater benefit to the employee takes precedent so that all may be moot.

Expert:  John replied 9 months ago.
There is no law in Pennsylvania that would allow an employer to only pay minimum wage for travel time. The regulations in fact state:

Hours worked - The term includes time during which an employee is required by the employer to be on the premises of the employer, to be on duty or to be at the prescribed work place, time spent in traveling as part of the duties of the employee during normal working hours and time during which an employee is employed or permitted to work; provided, however, that time allowed for meals shall be excluded unless the employee is required or permitted to work during that time, and provided further, that time spent on the premises of the employer for the convenience of the employee shall be excluded.

So you'd be owed overtime regardless of whether your claim falls under state or federal law. But whether you claim falls under federal or state laws depends on the amount of business your employer does - if it has in excess of $500,000 of sales generally it is covered by federal law. Generally, you'd prefer that the claim be federal...the federal Department of Labor simply has more resources to investigate claims and more power to enforce the findings.

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