Make sure that you are getting your full pay for travel time
For many employees, attending conferences, seminars, and trainings is part of the job. Sometimes these opportunities are fun, and other times they are dreaded — but they are often required. What many employees don’t realize is that if you are a nonexempt (hourly) employee, your employer isn’t just required to pay you for your time spent at this event. Your employer also has to pay you for your time traveling to and from these events.
According to a California employment attorney, your boss generally does not have to pay you for the time that you spend going from home to work and back again. However, most other travel time that is work-related is considered compensable time. For example, if you are required to attend a conference that is not at your usual job site, then the time that you spend driving to that conference can be submitted as part of your weekly hours, less the time of your usual commute (so if your usual commute is 30 minutes, and it takes you an hour to get to the conference, you can add 30 minutes each way for each day of the conference).
For air travel, your employer is required to pay you from the time that you leave your house until you reach your destination, or until you no longer perform work. This means that your employer has to pay you for the time that you spend traveling to the airport, waiting at the airport, and even the time that you spend on the plane. On these work trips, your employer is not required to pay you for your “down” time — but any time spent in transit or at a work-function is compensable. As a California employment attorney can explain, travel time will be minus your typical commute.
One word of warning: employees must keep an accurate record of their hours when they are traveling to make sure that receive overtime, if necessary. They should also take meal and rest breaks, and document these breaks accordingly. Importantly, because travel time does not require the same set of skills as your usual work, employers can pay less than your usual rate of pay. For example, if you typically make $25.00 an hour, your employer can pay you as little as the minimum wage while you travel. However, you are still eligible for overtime while on travel time under California law.
While this may seem complicated, it is a system that benefits employees, as it ensures that they are paid for the hours that they are performing a work-related function. If your employer fails to pay you for travel time, an experienced California employment attorney can help.
At PLBSH, we are committed to working with employees to help them achieve workplace justice. Contact our office today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with a skilled California employment attorney.