Is it legal for a company to not pay for travel time?

Construction company, sends their workers all over, MA and RI but they show up at the shop to punch in, once they punchin they are told where they need to be. They could travel, 30 – 60 minutes to get there but they get that time deducted from their pay.

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it appears the hourly workers should be paid for their travel time. A company does not need to pay for a worker's morning commute to work, or afternoon commute home; but any travel during the day, to/from the office or shop to clients, worksites, suppliers, etc., at the instruction of the employer is work time and must be paid. Work time is not just "productive" or "billable" time--it includes all time spent doing things, like travel, mandated by the employer for the job.

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