Can the employerI work for expect me to drive 2 hours a day back and forth to work in company vehicle without paying me for that time?

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Can the employerI work for expect me to drive 2 hours a day back and forth to work in company vehicle without paying me for that time?

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Is this your regular commute to work? Then generally, yes, they can expect you to do this.

First, if you took the job knowing that this was the commute, there is no doubt but that you have to do this without extra pay--after all, you didn't need to take the job.

If you were transferred to a new location (e.g. a new office or store) after being hired, they still can expect you to make the drive without compensation--though if it's far enough, it may be the case that you can consider the extreme commute to be "constructive termination" and leave while receiving unemployment compensation. If you think this *may* be the case, consult with an employment attorney before taking action; this is a subjective determination, and you want good advice before acting.

If you are being sent to different locations--e.g. to different customers or clients or worksites--each day, not your regular office, it *may* be the case that if you are an hourly employee, you need to be paid for the travel as it constitutes "work time." (And it may also count towards overtime if you are not exempt from overtime.) This again can be a complex determination, so consult with an employment lawyer.


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