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gtcook242
06-25-2007, 07:45 PM
I started a new job and there is a 4 week required management training program. Basically I must complete this training and pass the test in order to get the job. The training is 60 miles from the location I will be working. I am being paid for my time in the training.

So I have been driving 120 extra miles every day, to take an 8 hour training course. Is it legal for them to deny mileage reimbursement?

Thanks

Greg

turbowray
06-25-2007, 10:16 PM
Yes, since it is a required class, it must be reimbursed as a work exspense in order to complete your work for your employer. Please read this.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/2802regs/2802regs%2Dproposedtext13700%2D13706.pdf

Pattymd
06-26-2007, 06:17 AM
I may be wrong, but I'm not positive about this. It's possible that the travel may just be considered your "commute" for this period, even though it is longer than you might normally commute, since it appears this is your "temporary" work site for these four weeks. You might want to call the DLSE and inquire.

If I'm wrong, good for you. :)

DAW
06-26-2007, 08:08 AM
I was never sure about that specific issue either. If anyone has a hard answer to this (references are always nice), please share.

danskat26
06-26-2007, 03:08 PM
This is what I sent to payroll and got paid for 16 hours of overtime after a weeklong training session.




46.3.1 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. If
the employee’s travel from his home to the airport is the same or substantially the same
as the distance (and time) between his home and usual place of reporting for work, the

travel time would not begin until the employee reached the airport. The employee must
be paid for all hours spent between the time he arrives at the airport and the time he
arrives at his hotel. No further “travel” hours are incurred after the employee reaches
his hotel and is then free to choose the place where he will go. (O.L. 2002.02.21)

DAW
06-26-2007, 03:23 PM
Maybe. The problem is that the OP's question is specifically talking about mileage reimbursement for a same day trip that involves no hotels or airplanes. Commuting mileage (or time) is not normally subject to reimbursement but "away from home" travel that lasts more then a single day does. Your quote while certainly valid law seems to be geared towards the not-same-day-trip travel. The OPs question was basically same-day-travel, but with a longer then normal commute and specifically directed towards the expense reimbursement issue only, which is not what this rules is direct towards.

This is however a useful rule. Any CA Non-Exempt who does not-same-day-travel and has a what-are-hours-worked question should find this very useful.

danskat26
06-26-2007, 03:53 PM
According to my friendly neighborhood DLSE office, this section applies to any time, even daily when you are required to travel for training purposes to a location other than where you normally work. I personally had it applied to a one day training session that took place 57 miles from my normal place of work. In Southern California that equated to an extra 3.7 hours of pay for my travel time.

mtracy
06-26-2007, 07:56 PM
Everything posted by others about travel time is largely correct. That is, you are entitled to be paid for all travel time, other than your normal daily commute, and are entitled to mileage reimbursement if you use your own vehicle.

The issue is that the case presented by the poster is very different from an out of state trip or even the one-day travel described by danskat26.

To see why, imagine that the employer said something like this. "You are hired. Your work location is in City A (some place 60 miles away.) You start work tomorrow." In this case, your daily commute is 60 miles. You are not compensated for it.

Now, let us say the employer said: "You are hired. Your work location is in City A (some place 60 miles away.). This job is for a maximum of 4 weeks. You start work tomorrow." In this case, your daily commute is 60 miles, you still don't get paid for it.

Now, the employer, at the end of the 4 weeks says. "You are a good worker. Your work location is now City B (some place 5 miles away). You start tomorrow." You are not going to be retroactively paid mileage and travel time for the past 4 weeks. This is essentially what is going on here.

This is a very different situation than when you have an established job and the employer asks you to drive out of your normal way for some tasks. It is also different than when you need to fly to a distant city for training before you start your main job -- both of which are clearly not part of any "normal daily commute."

60 miles is a bit far, and probably at the limit of a "normal commute." A key factor would be how far both offices are from where you live. The poster only said that the training is "60 miles from the location I will be working." However, if you lived 45 miles from the primary location, and in the opposite direction than the training location, the travel time to the training is only 15 miles, while travel to your primary work is 45. It would be very hard to justify payment of travel time for this scenario. However, if the training is 60 miles out of town, and you are already 45 from the primary location, then you have a better case.

Finally, the DLSE has a published opinion letter that states "However, in the case of training, employees would not normally be entitled to payment for travel within a reasonable distance from their home so long as the time actually spent in training is compensated." http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/opinions/1994-02-16.pdf.

Thus, the only "hard" answer you will get on this is that it depends on whether the total distance is "reasonable."

Of course, employers are always welcome to pay their employees for travel time that they are not obligated to pay for. Many companies choose to do this to keep their employees happy and to avoid litigation. Even if the company were to win on this issue, it would likely cost them more than it is worth. Thus, they may choose to pay if you simply quote some laws to them.

Finally, mileage reimbursement and travel time go hand in hand. That is, if they are obligated to pay you mileage reimbursement, then they are obligated to pay you for the time as hours worked. Of course, if you are an exempt employee, then they do not owe you additional money for the hours worked, but they do owe you for the mileage. However, given that this is a 4 week training course, I am not sure how it would be considered exempt work -- but start a new thread if you want to go into that.

danskat26
06-27-2007, 01:13 AM
I realize that each case may be different, but for mine the DLSE cited this opinion letter as being more relavent. It addresses both daily and overnight travel.
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/opinions/2002-02-21.pdf

gtcook242
06-27-2007, 04:48 PM
I was hired to work in the Fremont location, the same city I live in. This place of work is 10-15 minutes from my home. I was told my initial training would take place in a city an hour and 20 minutes away in the oposite direction. This is a 122 mile round trip.

I had to complete the training and pass their test in order to work in the location in Fremont. This is a new restaurant that is opening in 2 weeks. So I did all the training and passed the tests, I just want to get reimbursed for my travel since it is NOT the location I signed up for.

In past jobs - similar, Hourly position and managment training, I got paid for my hours and mileage for the drive to the training location. This place is pushing back a bit.

mtracy
06-27-2007, 10:37 PM
The DLSE has written an opinion letter on a nearly identical subject. It can be found here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/opinions/2003-04-22.pdf. In it, the question is posed that if a person alternates each week between a very short commute (within the same city) and a long commute (1.5 hours), does the time have to be paid for? Interestingly, the DLSE does not answer the question. They present a lot of analysis, but don't end up coming to any conclusion.

In a part of their analysis, the DLSE does note:


The question has also been asked concerning the right to travel time for a clerical employee who is “transferred” to a job site for the duration of a project and, after completion of that project, the clerical employee may be “transferred” to another job site.

The DLSE concluded that so long as each of the transfers was for more than one month, each of these job sites, in turn, would be assigned workplaces for that employee. Travel to the employee’s new location would, therefore, be “an ordinary commute”. This conclusion was based on the fact that every employer has the right to “transfer” a position of an at-will employee. Barring any contractual obligation, the employer is not required to compensate the employee further.
Now, I know you are going to say "But 4 weeks is less than a month, so he must be entitled to travel time." However, the one-month time frame was a rule of thumb that the DLSE chose, and for 1 month out of the year, 4 weeks does equal a month. What the rule is supposed to determine is whether or not it is a bona fide "transfer" as opposed simply trying to not pay for travel. Given the facts of this case, it appears that this was a bona fide transfer, and I doubt a court would rule that the 4 weeks would only be sufficient if you started work in the month of February. In addition, you can see that the DLSE does not use this analysis to determine conclusively that the 5 days spent on out-of-town travel clearly needs to be paid for.

In any case, you can see from the opinion letter that the DLSE does not give a clear answer. As such, this is likely not a simple case. If you feel it is a simple case, then please ask the DLSE to amend the opinion letter to say "Any out-of-town travel, whether for a just a day or overnight must be compensated." This would certainly be much simpler than the 5 pages that they devote to this subject.

danskat26
06-28-2007, 02:19 PM
To get back to an apples to apples comparison, the OP stated that he was attending a 4 week training program. What happens after the training would be different circumstances.

As 46.3.1 clearly states:
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, .................,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".


I removed the refferences to train, airplanes, ect.

What it boils down to is this. Is the OP willing to provide his employer with a copy of 46.3.1 and request payment for his travel time? Alternately, he could file a claim with his local DLSE office in San Jose and wait a long time for a determination.

turbowray
07-02-2007, 11:00 PM
I was hired to work in the Fremont location, the same city I live in. This place of work is 10-15 minutes from my home. I was told my initial training would take place in a city an hour and 20 minutes away in the oposite direction. This is a 122 mile round trip.

I had to complete the training and pass their test in order to work in the location in Fremont. This is a new restaurant that is opening in 2 weeks. So I did all the training and passed the tests, I just want to get reimbursed for my travel since it is NOT the location I signed up for.

In past jobs - similar, Hourly position and managment training, I got paid for my hours and mileage for the drive to the training location. This place is pushing back a bit.

What ever did happen??

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