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My company did not pay the first 1/2 hour of travel to and…

Customer Question
My company did not...

My company did not pay the first 1/2 hour of travel to and from the customer's site. I was a field service engineer. I would travel on average 5 hours one way. Is this legal?

Lawyer's Assistant: Was this wage-and-hour issue discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

No, HE always sided with the company. I have a lawyer now looking into it among other issues.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the workplace "at will" or union? Is the job hourly or salaried?

HR

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
4/3/2018
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. To be clear, was this travel from your home, or from the business premises? And how far from the business premises do you live?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The travel was from home or the hotel. I live about 20 minutes from the company I worked for. I would travel up to 7 hours to the customer's site nut would only get paid for 6.5 hours for travel.
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Understood. And typically how are you paid? That is, is it every tenth of an hour? Sixth? Fourth? That is, what is the nearest portion of an hour your time rounds up/down to ?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Per .25 hour
Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

That's what it sounded like. Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Again, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I don't see anything illegal in what they're doing. There's no obligation to pay for your commute to and from work, and to the extent that you're going straight from your home to the client's site, the employer can deduct from the hours traveled what you would have spent traveling to and from work.

The Portal-to-Portal Act makes clear that employers do not need to pay employees for time spent traveling from their homes to their workplace before the start of the workday or traveling from their workplace to their homes after the workday is over. See 29 CFR § 785.35

One exception to this general rule is when an employee’s workday has ended and they are called back to work. If the employee has to travel an unusually long distance to get to a worksite after normal work hours, that travel time may be counted as hours worked. The example given by the US Department of Labor is that of an employee who is gone home from work and is then called to respond to an emergency a significant distance from home. The employer would be required to pay the employee for the time spent traveling to the location of the emergency. 29 CFR § 785.36

The Portal-to-Portal Act requires an employer to include time spent traveling from one workplace to another during the same workday as hours worked. As pointed out above, this would not include travel time from home to work before the start of a workday or from work to home after a workday ends. However, it would include time spent traveling from a central meeting place to a final work location. 29 CFR § 785.38

For example, if a general contractor requires its trades people and laborers to meet at its offices before traveling to a construction site, the general contractor would be required to include the time spent traveling between the offices and the construction site in the hours worked by each employee. Likewise, it would be required consider as hours worked any time spent by any trades person or laborer traveling between two or more construction sites during the same workday. The general contractor would not, however, be required to include as hours worked time spent by the employee traveling from home to the offices before traveling to the construction site or traveling home from the offices after the workday is over. It would also not be required to include time spent traveling home from a construction site after a workday is over if the employee is not required to return to the offices.

An employer must pay an employee for time spent traveling to and from another city in the same day. If the employee does not first report to his usual workplace, the employer may be able to deduct the time the employee usually takes to get to and from work from the time spent traveling to the other city. 29 CFR § 785.37

Given that your time increments are 15 minutes, if your average commute is 23 minutes, then they can round up to 30. Now if you can prove that the average commute would be 22 or less, then they would need to pay you an additional .25 an hour, not .5. But you'd need to be able to show that through Google maps, etc... to show the commute time is really under 22.5 minutes, so show that they need to be rounding down (in your favor) rather than up (in theirs).

Hope that clears things up a bit. 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 the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions).

If you can't see the stars, you may need to scroll up / down / left / or right to see them. This is where you rate so that the question will close out.

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Hello?

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. 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 the time (~1 hour now) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months 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 AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Hello?

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I see you have not responded in some time. Did you wish to continue with this question?

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Employment Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I see that you STILL 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 AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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