Am I entitled to be paid for all time that I drive a company service vehicle?

I work for a fire/security company as a technician (hourly, non-exempt) and drive a service vehicle. I take the service vehicle home because I travel directly to our job sites or customer’s sites each morning. The company has a policy that states they will not pay me my hourly rate while driving in the company vehicle to the site from my house if the site is within 60 miles of the office. I live 50 miles west of the office and if the site I’m going to is an additional 60 miles east of the office, this would result in a 2 hour drive to the site and a 2 hour drive home that I will not get paid.

Asked on September 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The company may be committing a violation of the wage and hour laws. As a general matter, to the extent you drive *further* than your regular commute, you may need to be paid for it. For example: you say your office is 50 miles from you. If you are not going to the ofifce, but directly to and from the job site, you would not need to be paid if you are driving around 50 miles, give or take, in any direction. However, if you have to drive, say, 100 miles, you probably should be paid for the 50 mile increment over what would be considered your "normal" commute into work. Therefore, there is no hard and fast rule about always or never being paid, but it is rather situational, depending on how the distance and time works out on each trip.


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