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  • travel compensation Florida

    I work in construction and live very close to our office. Normally I work locally but for the past two weeks I've been sent out of town. I drive an hour and a half each way with absolutely no compensation. I drive my personal vehicle but the company gave me a gas card. Needless to say this is very demanding and seems unfair. Is it legal?

  • #2
    Probably. The feds mostly do not care, and FL cares less then the feds do. FL is pretty much a "just like feds" state, so we are generally looking at federal rules only.
    - Feds do not consider commute time to be "hours worked", under the Portal to Portal Act.
    - Feds do not consider commuting expense to be the employer responsibility.
    - The one sort of back door in federal law is the "free and clear" provision in federal law. Lets say that Bob deliveries newspapers, and I pay Bob exactly minimum wage. Bob's drive to the office at the beginning of the day to pick up newspapers and his drive home at the end of the day is his problem (commute). But Bob's drive during the day delivering newspapers has to cost something, and even if it is no more then a penny, I am no longer paying minimum wage. And Bob travel time in this example is going to cost a lot more then a penny. HOWEVER, if we pay Bob say $10/hr (MW = $7.25/hr) then a "free and clear" violation only occurs to the extend that non-commute travel costs exceed minimum wage.

    In your example, commute is nothing because the feds say it's nothing. I am not saying that this is fair, but I am saying that this is literally federal law (Portal to Portal Act). For you to claim it is hours worked, you have to claim the travel time is not a commute under the Act. And the feds only have an interest in travel expense to the extent that MW obligations are impacted. And your state is not interested in much of anything. There are exactly two states that require travel related expense reimbursements (CA, MA) and those states have a certain element of "read the fine print" associated with the rules.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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