I drive for transportation, can my employer can cut my time saying that it took me too long to reach my destination even if I made it there on time?

I drive for a private Medicaid transportation company and I use the company van. Every morning I get in my van I write my time down because there is no time clock and on payday my hours are not correct because my employer may say it took you too long to get from point A to point B. However, I’m still on the clock and I’m not late picking my member up.

Asked on March 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming for the moment that you did take "too long"--that is, longer than it should have taken you, given distance, roads, traffic conditions, etc.--the employer still may not reduce your hours UNLESS they have actual evidence that you lied about the time (e.g. information from a GPS system showing that you sat in a parking lot, maybe having a cup of coffee, when you should have been driving, or that you went somewhere other than where you were supposed to go). With such evidence, they do not have to pay you for time not actually spent doing your job; but without such evidence, they'd have to pay you. If you were not paid for all the work you did/time you spent when the employer did not have an evidence-based reason to not pay you, you could sue the employer (e.g. in small claims court) for the additional pay you should have received, but did not.
That said, if they felt that you were just generally being too slow in how you did your job, while they would still have to pay you for all the work you had done or time you had spent, going forward, they could do any/all of the following: terminate you; suspend you; reduce your work/hours; demote you; cut your rate or wage. There are many actions an employer may legally take if dissatisfied by how an employee is doing his/her job; but the thing they can't do is cut your time or pay without evidence that you were not working when you said you were.


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