Parking/clocking in out?

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Parking/clocking in out?

My employer has designated parking so we have to park across the street no problem but we are being told that we have to ride a shuttle bus and sign in on the bus as proof that we rode the bus across the street. My employer is stating that this is mandatory or we will be written up or termed. If I park in the designated area can the employer tell me I can not walk across the street to report to work? This new rule does not allow me to leave the property for my 1 hour lunch because of this shuttle issue. Plus we are being told to report to the shuttle at 915am but we are not being paid until the start of our shift. Basically we are sitting around waiting to clock in.

Asked on November 8, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues:
1) Can the employer make you ride the shuttle and provide proof that you did or else terminate you? Yes: an employer may set any rules or requirements that it likes for employment which are not intrinsically illegal, and there is nothing intrinsically illegal about employees having to use a designated way of getting to work or providing proof thereof.
2) However, if you are required by your employer to be at a certain place by a certain time, that is work: it work even when you are not working per se but are simply going where the employer wants you to go, when they want. In setting a specific time to be at bus, the employer is effectively starting your work day then, and you need to be paid for it, starting then; if not, you could file a complaint with the department of labor and/or sue for the money (the unpaid time). Of course, if the time is trivial--e.g. 5 minutes or so per day--it's probably not worth taking action about, but if this is costing you an extra 15 or so minutes of your time per day, then basically, you should be paid for an extra hour plus of time per week (and if it costs you a half hour per day, then it's an extra hour over two days; etc.).


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