If my husband is a cable technician and not paid for time driving between jobs, is this legal?

I have a question regarding my husband’s previous job in which he worked as a cable technician. The company he worked for provided a company vehicle but only paid for a small portion of the gas. What they paid him for gas didn’t even come close to what my husband spent on a daily basis. My husband was not paid for time between jobs. Mind you, he would have up to 10 jobs a day. Most of his jobs would be between 10-30 miles apart sometime more. If he arrived at a job and the customer wasn’t home he would also not be paid for this job.

Asked on July 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) Driving: any time driving to or between job sites is work; hourly employees must be paid for it. The morning commute to work or afternoon commute from work do not need to be paid; and in many situations, if the employee goes directly to a job site from his/her home, or directly back home from the last job site, that travel does not need to be paid--but any travel during the work day must be.

2) When a customer is not home: an hourly employee must still be paid for all time worked, even if the customer is not home; an employer is not allowed to only pay for "productive" time or calls.

3) Gasoline: an employer is not required to reimburse for gasoline, except and only to the extent it chooses to.

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