Can my employer pay me at half of my regular payrate when I travel to and from various job sites in a company vehicle?

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Can my employer pay me at half of my regular payrate when I travel to and from various job sites in a company vehicle?

I have a commercial drivers license. After I arrive at work each morning, I may use a flatbed tractor/trailer or heavy hauler to load and carry a piece of equipment to the job site or sometimes a company truck, which is local and no more than an hour away from the yard. The company calls this to and from “travel pay” and will only pay me half of my regular rate of pay. Since I am on the clock while driving their vehicles/equipment to the job site, I feel I should be getting paid my full hourly rate of pay, not half. Is this legal or do they owe me some money?

Asked on May 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The key is "after I arrive at work." ANYTHING you do after you arrive at work (e.g. get to the office or location where you normally work or are based out of) is work, so if you go to work, THEN are sent to drive to a job site, that is work and you must be paid your full rate for it--there is no discounted rate for "travel pay" under the law.

Note that IF the company had you do straight to the travel site and not make any pickups, stops or side trips along the way, then they might not have to pay you anything--the company can treat you going straight to the job site as your morning commute (getting to work). However, if they had you pick up a delivery along the way, then at least part of the trip (e.g. after the pick-up) would probably be work. So if you ended work day 1 with loaded truck parked at home, and then started work day 2 by driving that truck straight to a work site, that might not be work.


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