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Unpaid drive-time in Michigan Michigan

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  • Unpaid drive-time in Michigan Michigan

    I wrote before asking about drive-time at my job and was told that as long as the company paid us at least minimum wage for our drive-time, that they were doing nothing wrong. How does this pertain to overtime? The hours that we drive are before and after our regualr shift, which can be either 8 or 10 hours. Wouldn't this be considered as overtime? and if so, should we be paid our regular wage or the minimum wage? We are a union company, do you think this is a matter for them?
    I'm sorry if this question is on here twice, I'm not sure if the first one went through.
    Thank you.
    Steve

  • #2
    The commute from home-to-work and reverse is not considered compensable under normal circumstances. In essence the employer would not be required to compensate for this time. If the employer chooses to do so, that's fine; but it's not required under law.

    You mention that you are employed under a collective bargaining agreement. My suggestion is to speak to your union rep and see if this is covered in your agreement.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by bigdawg719 View Post
      I wrote before asking about drive-time at my job and was told that as long as the company paid us at least minimum wage for our drive-time, that they were doing nothing wrong. How does this pertain to overtime? The hours that we drive are before and after our regualr shift, which can be either 8 or 10 hours. Wouldn't this be considered as overtime? and if so, should we be paid our regular wage or the minimum wage? We are a union company, do you think this is a matter for them?
      I'm sorry if this question is on here twice, I'm not sure if the first one went through.
      Thank you.
      Steve
      I think what you're asking about is the actual time from when you get to the shop where the trucks are kept, where you would inspect the trucks, do a walk-around, and get into your trucks and then drive to the job site (and back again) not the commute time from home to the shop. Its "common practice" for these dirtball trucking companies to pay only for time on the actual "job site". However, the time spent driving from the SHOP to the JOB SITE is considered time worked if you are driving their truck, and therefore must be compensated, unless you are an interstate truck driver, in which case they are pretty much free to screw you any way they like. Any time spent working on the trucks (adjusting brakes, washing them, etc) is also time worked.
      If you have a union contract that says anything over 8 hours is overtime and the company isn't paying you for it, then yes, you should bring it to the attention of the union.
      The sleazebag my husband worked for a while back tried this crap too. He would pay only what the job paid - lets say he was contracted for an 8 hour day - not only would the employer not pay for the time spent driving to and from the shop to the job (often more than an hour each way) or any wait time on the job, but he also wouldn't pay anything over the actual time contracted.
      If he was only getting paid for an 8 hour day per truck, and the driver actually worked a 10 hour day on the actual job site, plus drive time back and forth, he would only pay the 8 hours. Like your employer, he also paid a $17 "travel rate" per day, but only if the entire 8 hours were spent on the job. If the job ended early, even though HE got paid for 8 hours regardless, he would only pay the drivers the actual time worked on the site and withhold the "travel rate" as well. Yet he also wouldn't compensate them for over 8 hours no matter how many they worked, and paid nothing for the time spent driving from the shop to the site and back. Not legal, and he's about to land in some very hot water with the DOL.
      I'd contact the union rep, explain the situation, and keep very good records of the time you have actually worked. If the union rep can't help you out, file a complaint with the Dept. of Labor, and be prepared to wait for months to hear from them. In the meantime though, document EVERYTHING, including union jobs you've worked on, in the event he's not paying union rate. Assuming you are not interstate, what he is doing is not legal.
      Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        In my personal experience, it is not required to pay for drive time. Then again, I'm in MN. I've searched for concrete evidence but am unable to find it (therefore, I'd go with robb's advice).

        My employer does not pay for drive time (we're an electrical contractor for commercial business) to and from the job. BUT, we do pay for gas for the company vehicles and the maintenance of them. Employees are allowed to drive straight to work from home unless they need material from our shop, so they do not have to drive half hour one way only to drive an hour back in the direction they came from.

        While I know it may seem unfair that you have to drive an hour or two to get to your job, it is not illegal--unless you have a contract that states otherwise.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JulieBean View Post
          My employer does not pay for drive time (we're an electrical contractor for commercial business) to and from the job. BUT, we do pay for gas for the company vehicles and the maintenance of them. Employees are allowed to drive straight to work from home unless they need material from our shop, so they do not have to drive half hour one way only to drive an hour back in the direction they came from.
          Julie, just so you aware, only the drive time from the employee's home to the first job site of the day and from the final job site of the day is considered commute time and therefore does not need to be paid for. Travel between the office and job site, or job site to job site, must be paid.
          http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...9CFR785.38.htm
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Patty,

            I apologize... I have a habit of not being as specific as I should! We do not pay for drive time when: they drive from their house to the job, from their house to the shop (main office), from jobsite to home, or from shop to home.

            We do pay them drive time when: they drive from shop to jobsite, jobsite to jobsite, and jobsite to shop.

            Those are the specifics. If they drive straight to the shop in the morning it's usually to load up equipment and such. So as soon as they get to the shop, their workday begins and they are getting paid. But, if they drive from home to the jobsite, they don't get paid until they are physically at the site and beginning to work.

            I hope this clears up my all-too-vague initial response! Sorry again!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JulieBean View Post
              Patty,

              I apologize... I have a habit of not being as specific as I should! We do not pay for drive time when: they drive from their house to the job, from their house to the shop (main office), from jobsite to home, or from shop to home.

              We do pay them drive time when: they drive from shop to jobsite, jobsite to jobsite, and jobsite to shop.

              Those are the specifics. If they drive straight to the shop in the morning it's usually to load up equipment and such. So as soon as they get to the shop, their workday begins and they are getting paid. But, if they drive from home to the jobsite, they don't get paid until they are physically at the site and beginning to work.

              I hope this clears up my all-too-vague initial response! Sorry again!

              I don't think that is what the OP is talking about. I don't know what he's hauling, but assume his job is similar to my husband's. They arrive at the employer's premises (aka "the shop") inspect the truck, make necessary adjustments/repairs, maybe fuel the truck. then they drive the employer's truck to the first job site, and eventually, after the day is "done", drive it back to the shop. The actual job IS the driving - they aren't going from the shop to the site to perform some other work, but to continue driving the truck. I don't believe the OP means anything other than the time spent driving the truck from the employer's shop to the first job site, where they will get loaded, drive off to whereever to dump, and then repeat as necessary. Its common (illegal) practice for these employer's to not pay anything other than time on the actual site, but according to the DOL, they legally must compensate the driver for ALL time spent from the minute they reach the employer's shop and begin work, not JUST the time on the actual job site. If the employee wasn't working for the employer while he was driving the truck from the shop to the site, well, hey, I guess the truck would be sitting on the job site waiting for him. Instead, in order for the employer to get the work done, the driver must drive the truck from the shop to the site. This is obviously time spent working, and therefore the driver must be compensated.
              These sleazes in the trucking industry really should be taught a lesson, and personally, I wish all these drivers would get together and file DOL complaints against these cheapskates, because its the only way they are ever going to get a fair day's pay in the industry. Of course, the interstate drivers are completely SOL, since no agency can or will enforce any fair standard of pay for them at all.

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=JulieBean;824752]In my personal experience, it is not required to pay for drive time. Then again, I'm in MN. I've searched for concrete evidence but am unable to find it (therefore, I'd go with robb's advice).

                My employer does not pay for drive time (we're an electrical contractor for commercial business) to and from the job. QUOTE]

                The job is to DRIVE the truck not drive somewhere and perform some other job, or to drive from home to the company. Rather to get the boss's truck and drive that truck to the jobsite.

                <vbg> I guess the average (lucky) person doesn't have a lot of experience with the trucking industry, because it seems hard to get this across to everyone (DOL included).

                If what the OP describes were legal, the guy who delivers your heating oil should only get paid for the time he actually spends pumping it from the truck to your oil tank, not for the time it takes him to drive the oil truck to your house. Be a REALLY long day for next to no pay, yet it happens in trucking all the time. The amazing thing is that these guys get away with it. Its nothing new and no one does anything. Its shocking really.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JulieBean View Post
                  Patty,

                  I apologize... I have a habit of not being as specific as I should! We do not pay for drive time when: they drive from their house to the job, from their house to the shop (main office), from jobsite to home, or from shop to home.

                  We do pay them drive time when: they drive from shop to jobsite, jobsite to jobsite, and jobsite to shop.

                  Those are the specifics. If they drive straight to the shop in the morning it's usually to load up equipment and such. So as soon as they get to the shop, their workday begins and they are getting paid. But, if they drive from home to the jobsite, they don't get paid until they are physically at the site and beginning to work.

                  I hope this clears up my all-too-vague initial response! Sorry again!
                  Whew!!!!!! That makes me feel better.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bigdawg719 View Post
                    I wrote before asking about drive-time at my job and was told that as long as the company paid us at least minimum wage for our drive-time, that they were doing nothing wrong. How does this pertain to overtime? The hours that we drive are before and after our regualr shift, which can be either 8 or 10 hours. Wouldn't this be considered as overtime? and if so, should we be paid our regular wage or the minimum wage? We are a union company, do you think this is a matter for them?
                    I'm sorry if this question is on here twice, I'm not sure if the first one went through.
                    Thank you.
                    Steve
                    I apologize to everyone on the thread if I have misunderstood the OP's question. The way he stated it made it sound like he wasn't a trucker, but just rather asking about drive time before and after his shift... to me anyway. Obviously, if the OP is a trucker, then yes, they should be compensated for their drive time. If it's their job to get from point A to point B with a shipment, then yes, they should be paid.

                    However, if your truck is kept somewhere other than your house, and you must travel to get to it, you do not get paid for that travel time. You should only be getting paid for the time you are actually in your work truck driving to your work destination. If you have to make inspections to your work truck and have to fix anything on it before you leave in the morning,then you should be paid for that time too.

                    Sorry again if I misunderstood. The OP should contact the DOL and explain that his actual job is to drive and he is not being compensated for those hours.

                    Just think if UPS or FedEx never got paid for drive time... good grief, they would only get paid for probably an hour a day.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Drivetime

                      I want to thank everyone for their help.
                      As far as my job, I am classified as a cement laborer but I have a class A CDL. Myself and other employees are made to arrive at our company shop at 5:45am to pick up our work trucks. Some drive stake trucks loaded with tools. I usually drive a dump truck and haul heavy equipment to the job sites. I sometime drive the stake trucks also. We check out and load our trucks with equipment, that the other employees use for work, then we drive to the job site and meet the other employees, who start at 7:00am. After our shift is over, either 3:30pm or 5:30pm, we have to drive back to our shop and unload equipment, tools and trailers. There are days that I get to work at 5:45am and don't leave the yard untill 7:30pm but only get paid for 8 straight hours plus $20.00 for our "drive time". I don't know if this is legal but if it is not, what can I do?
                      Thanks again for all the help.
                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ps

                        Once I get to the job site I stay and do cement work during our work shift.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bigdawg719 View Post
                          I want to thank everyone for their help.
                          As far as my job, I am classified as a cement laborer but I have a class A CDL. Myself and other employees are made to arrive at our company shop at 5:45am to pick up our work trucks. Some drive stake trucks loaded with tools. I usually drive a dump truck and haul heavy equipment to the job sites. I sometime drive the stake trucks also. We check out and load our trucks with equipment, that the other employees use for work, then we drive to the job site and meet the other employees, who start at 7:00am. After our shift is over, either 3:30pm or 5:30pm, we have to drive back to our shop and unload equipment, tools and trailers. There are days that I get to work at 5:45am and don't leave the yard untill 7:30pm but only get paid for 8 straight hours plus $20.00 for our "drive time". I don't know if this is legal but if it is not, what can I do?
                          Thanks again for all the help.
                          Steve

                          Pick up the phone and call the department of labor and file a complaint. They are legally obligated to pay you for every minute of your day from the time you get to the shop until the time you leave it. If you are driving *their* truck, you are WORKING for them, therefore, you must be compensated. If you are loading *their* equipment onto *their* trucks to bring to *their* job, you are WORKING for them, therefore, you must be compensated.
                          Keep accurate logs of exactly when you arrive there each day and exactly when you leave. Keep records of what you are doing at what time (ie: you get there at 5:45 a.m. and load the truck until 6:30. You then drive the truck from 6:30 until 7:00 to the site, and then work X hours at the site doing X. You then drive from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. back the shop, etc. etc. Keep records of *everything*, staple them to your payslip for the week so you can demonstrate what you did versus what you got paid for. Not only do they owe you for the time you are working, they no doubt owe you backpay for all the hours they *haven't* paid you. You said you were a union shop - you must have a shop steward. Discuss the matter with him. If he won't act, go over his head.
                          When dealing with the DOL be prepared to wait. They have *just* gotten back to us re: a complaint filed in April of this year. However, the DOL rep was particularly aghast by the details, which are virtually identical to what you describe. Since it takes so long, you ought to get the ball rolling now. Not only should your employer be taken to task for not paying you, this may help to protect you down the road should your boss decide to can you for making noise (always a possibility).

                          Good luck!

                          Comment

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