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Can my employer legally pay me for only half of my travel time?

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  • Can my employer legally pay me for only half of my travel time?

    I work at a pool store in Illinois and for the past week, I have been traveling back forth to a new pool that we are putting in about an hour and a half each way. I just received my check for that time and found that they only paid us for half of that travel time. Is this legal?

    To me, it seems that I should be paid for the drive there and back. It's not like I want to be driving there every day and I feel like they are the ones that took the bid to put the pool in and they knew how far it was so we should be fully compensated. I 've been working much longer days than I really want to and it makes me mad that I'm not getting paid for an hour and a half each day. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • #2
    Are you going from home to the pool location and then from the pool location home, or are you going from home to the regular employment location and then to the pool location? It makes a difference to how much, if any, travel time is required.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      I am driving to the store with my vehicle, clocking in, and taking the company vehicle and equipment to the job an hour and a half away. At the end of the day, I drive back to the store, clock out, and drive my own vehicle back home.


      • #4
        Commutes (to/from your house) are almost never hours worked, thanks to a federal law called the Portal-to-Portal Act. There are a very few narrow exceptions, but Congress has clear intent here. So pretty much by definition for travel time to be hours worked it cannot be commutes. The drive to/from your primary work location to some secondary work location (like the pool) is almost always hours worked.

        HOWEVER, federal law is very clear on what is and is not hours worked. It is less clear on what happens yet. Example. Bob is a non-exempt employee who normally is paid $10/hr. He arrives at work at 8:00 AM, works till 1:00 drives to the secondary location works a while and arrives back at the primary work location at 05:00 PM, then goes whom. Let's assume lunch between 12:00 and 1:00. Bob has worked 8 hours (including travel time). Lets assume that the travel time is one hour. The feds are very clear that this is 8 hours worked. The feds are very clear that Bob must be paid at least minimum wage ($7.25/hr). But Bob makes $10/hr??? Yes and no. If we are talking federal law and federal law only, the feds do not care even a little bit about the difference ($2.75/hr). While the feds care about hours worked (which includes travel time), the feds do not care about any wage in excess of MW/OT. It is perfectly legal under federal law to pay non-exempt employees travel time at a different rate then their normal rate. Say MW.

        The state might care. Or not. Some states do not care about much of anything. The key is your employer CANNOT play with hours worked, period, no exceptions. Depending on your state's rules (not my state, so no idea) and how smart your employer is, they maybe can play with rate.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5

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