What are my rights if I’m being asked to start my work day 40 miles away 1 day a week but not being compensated?

I work as a technician that drives around to fix electronics. I’m paid for mileage and tolls as I’m

sent somewhere. They got a new contract of a customer that’s about 40 miles away from where I work. I was told they want me to start my day there. So the time driving there stuck in

traffic the way there and back won’t be work time. Mileage won’t count since it’s starting my day there and same with bridge tolls to go to this place. I already moved closer to work so I

wouldn’t have to cross a bridge and be stuck with a long commute. Now told my day will be

2-3 hours longer because of traffic and not counted as my work day, plus the added expenses for travel since work day hasn’t started yet. Said it;s typical for field work and if you don’t like it, just look around. I’ve been here over decade and never asked to travel and not be compensated this far before.

Asked on March 31, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Work time is compensable but not commuting time. This is true no matter the length of the commute. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will". This means that an employer can set the terms and conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes having an employee make a 40 mile commute. This is true unless this action violates an employment contract or union agreement or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination. Basically, your choices are to comply and drive the distance, complain and risk termination, or quit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.