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

Answers:

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.


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