Can my company make me drive 230 miles round trip to load myvehicleand not compensate me?

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Can my company make me drive 230 miles round trip to load myvehicleand not compensate me?

My company is based out of TX; the main plant is in LA; I’m based out of MS (where my truck is always parked and always loaded from). When our plant was down for repairs, I had to drive to our LA plant to load. My employer refused to pay me the 115 miles one way to the LA plant, or the 115 miles back to my home base. I was told that if I didn’t like it, I could always quit. Additionally, I am on standby when times are slow, and I better be ready when they call, but I receive no compensation if they don’t call. Is any of this legal? I need a job but I don’t want to be treated like this.

Asked on November 19, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have to drive or otherwise travel other than to your normal place of business (i.e.  something other than the regular commute to or from work) you have to be compensated for your travel time. Being sent somewhere by your employer for your job is work--the time you spend driving to and from LA is just as surely work as spending the same amount of time working at your home plant. So yes, you should have been compensated for this, and could potentially file a complaint with state or federal labor dept. or bring your own law suit, if the amount is worth it.

2) As for standby time: if you are simply obligated to come in if called, that time is probably not compensible. If you are strongly limited in what you can do during that time--e.g. you have to remain within a 10 or 15 minute radius of the plant and so can't shop, go out to dinner or  movie, visit friends or family, etc.; or  you have to wait at some work location--then you *might* have to be compensated for that time and may wish to discuss the matter with an employment attorney.


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