Can an employee seek compensation for previous work related travel time?

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Can an employee seek compensation for previous work related travel time?

I had just returned from training and I was informed that I was eligible for work related travel time compensation and I was paid. I had similar training a couple of years ago and was informed by my manager that I should have paid, however he chose not to because he feels training is compensation alone. He was spoken to about that and I was assured going forward that I will be paid for traveling. He has done it multiple times to other co-workers as well .If I can retrieve all my paperwork for the trip I took 2 years ago, do they have to compensate me?

Asked on September 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you were an hourly (not salaried) employee at the time of the earlier trip, and the training was *mandatory*--required by the employer, not merely supported, encouraged, etc.--then you should have been paid for the travel time. However, a wage and hour complaint may only be brought for 2 years after the time the claim arose--i.e. after the return date of the trip--so you may be out of, or just about out of, time. And, of course, taking legal action against your employer will have a drastic impact on your relationship with the employer; even without engaging in any provable illegal retaliation, they could, for example, not give you new opportunities coming up, or smaller raises or bonuses, etc. Think carefully about taking legal action for what may not be a large amount of money.


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