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Acceptable school bus pay? Massachusetts

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  • Acceptable school bus pay? Massachusetts

    Hi there! I work for a school bus company out of New York that sublets a contract here in Massachusetts. We are disputing with our company because of : Should a man or woman driving a big yellow bus, not a van, be working 20 hours a week at one pay and then transferred to another town where the routes require you to work 30 1/2 hours a week and be payed only for 20 hours. As we are told not to perform any stops after our routes, i.e. groceries, etc. So, I consider myself 'working' from the time I step on my bus to begin my pretrip and at the end of my morning, then, in the afternoon the same thing. From the time I step onto the vehicle until I exit it at 4:15.
    Should I be expected to do 30 hours of work for 20 hours of pay? Thanks for letting me vent.

  • #2
    Hours of Work

    Under the Portal-to-Portal Act, employees are required to be paid from the time they begin work to the time they stop. However, commuting time is not covered. When you say, "stopping for groceries", is that for your own groceries? The reason I ask is that there was a federal court case which found that even though a person was assigned a company vehicle, they did not need to be paid as soon as they stepped foot into the vehicle, if they had some freedom in the use of the vehicle on the way to and from work.

    Please clarify your situation so I can assist you. Thanks.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator
    www.laborlawtalk.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Let me clarify

      I don't shop, myself. What I am inquiring is, 5:30a.m. I enter my bus, pretrip it and leave at 5:40 to make my first pickup in Oakham for 6:05. Then I am not back to the bus yard until 8:45a.m. Later, I am onboard at 1:00p.m. to begin afternoon routes and am back in the bus yard approx. 4:15. I am not looking for pay from leaving my home to arriving at the bus yard. I just want to be paid for what is my time. Hope this helps.

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      • #4
        School Bus Pay

        So, under the schedule you listed, you should begin receiving pay at 5:30 until you return back to the yard at 8:45 am. You do not need to be paid from 8:45 until 1:00. At 1:00, you are back on the clock again through 4:15. Under that schedule, you should receive 3.25 hours for the morning and 3.25 hours for the afternoon, for a total of 6.5 hours per day or (assuming that you work 5 days per week) 32.50 per week. If you are receiving less than 32.50 hours of pay, you are being underpaid.

        Let me know if you have any other questions.
        Lillian Connell

        Forum Moderator
        www.laborlawtalk.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Portal-to-Portal Act

          This was posted as a private message. I hope it's okay that I post it here for all to see:

          This has to do with the Portal to Portal you told me about.

          I found this but cannot understand it. Is this saying that employers are exempt? Please forgive my thick headedness. It is at this link:http://assembler.law.cornell.edu/us...51----000-.html

          I read 251. I don't understand. I have the number for a woman at the National Labor Relations Board but would like to be sure I know what I'm talking about and if it pertains to my situation first, so I am not wasting her time. I appreciate any help.

          In response to your message...

          I am in agreement with you that you should be paid from the moment you step on the bus until you step off it. You shouldn't be paid for the time between the bus shifts as you are free to spend your time doing whatever you please. Information on the compensability of travel time may be found at: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/workhours/traveltime.htm

          Let me know if you have any other questions.
          Lillian Connell

          Forum Moderator
          www.laborlawtalk.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Workers Rights in Massachusetts

            Originally posted by livia
            Hi there! I work for a school bus company out of New York that sublets a contract here in Massachusetts. We are disputing with our company because of : Should a man or woman driving a big yellow bus, not a van, be working 20 hours a week at one pay and then transferred to another town where the routes require you to work 30 1/2 hours a week and be payed only for 20 hours. As we are told not to perform any stops after our routes, i.e. groceries, etc. So, I consider myself 'working' from the time I step on my bus to begin my pretrip and at the end of my morning, then, in the afternoon the same thing. From the time I step onto the vehicle until I exit it at 4:15.
            Should I be expected to do 30 hours of work for 20 hours of pay? Thanks for letting me vent.
            If you want to learn about your rights as a worker in Massachusetts, there is a great book: "Your Rights on the Job: A Practical Guide to Employment Laws in Massachussetts" by Robert M. Schwartz.

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