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Employees taking company vehicles home California

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  • Employees taking company vehicles home California

    Our company is in a service based industry and we are going to have our service technicians take their company service truck home in order to elliminate having multiple business locations. Our techs have to wear a company uniform. They also go online to print their jobs for the day and after coming back home they will close out their jobs online. Does their work day start once they are dressed? When they start retrieving jobs online? Once they get in the company truck? Once they get to their first job?

    A second question is that we are looking into our techs using a hand held pda that their jobs would be sent to and closed out on when completed taking away the need for them to be on their computer at home at all. Would this in any way change the point at which they start getting paid?

  • #2
    This is legally less then clear some of the time. Some questions have answers more obvious then others.
    - Taking the truck home is a bad idea. There is a very good chance that as a result of that action that government will say that the "clock" starts no worse then when the employee gets in the truck. Commutes are normally not hours worked, but taking a "work vehicle" home changes that. The legal definition of a "work vehicle" is complicated. A normal everyday type car owned by the company is not a work vehicle. If someone worked for the phone company (for example), one of those tricked up phone company vans full of phone company stuff is very likely a "work vehicle". If your truck is logo'd and carrying company stuff, then it very likely is a work vehicle.
    - Past that, ignore the truck and the commute for the moment. Putting on clothing, even a uniform per se almost certainly is not hours worked. Police have tried that argument and mostly lost in court, and their uniform, with tool belt and body armor is a lot more complex then most uniform arguments. You generally need something like what a butcher wears (booties, hair net, apron, gloves) before you start getting into areas the courts consider to be hours worked. If you were an Orc on Lord of Rings, the several hours you spent each day getting Orc'd up would be hours worked.
    - Hours worked at home could be hours worked. This could be telephone, computer or anything. Not automatic. If it takes say 15 seconds to do whatever it is you are having these people do, then probably not hours worked. HOWEVER, the more time the spend, the more it is part of their normal job, then the greater the chances that this is hours worked. The fact that this is done before the commute is nothing. It would be equally hours worked if the employee was just working at home. You need to look at the task stand alone and see if it is hours worked. It probably is hours worked.

    I do not understand your PDA point, but if the person is working (with or without the PDA), then it is hours worked. If the employee is using the PDA to play fetch with the dog, then that is not hours worked. Carrying the PDA by itself is not hours worked. However the moment your company gets any value what-so-ever out of what the employee is doing with that PDA, the hours worked clock has started.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jpeterson View Post
      Our company is in a service based industry and we are going to have our service technicians take their company service truck home in order to elliminate having multiple business locations.
      I'm not sure I understand this "goal" and what it buys the employer.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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