What is the law regarding travel time compensation and mileage reimbursement for a home health aide?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is the law regarding travel time compensation and mileage reimbursement for a home health aide?

I am currently working as a home health aide. I use my personal vhecial and am not reimbursed mileage. For any services. My patients often need me to give them a ride somewhere, or need me to do things for them. I was told I am obligated to honor the travel. That sounds so petty but I do not make enough money to donate $15 or more a week in traveling. That comes to my next question. I travel to a patients house they don’t answer the door or had other plans that day and forgot about our appointment. I do not get paid for that. Or the travel time to my next patient. For instance I drive 45 minutes to a 9 am appointment yesterday, knocked on doors windows, etc. per my boss telling me to do so. I spent a hour between knocking and waiting with hopes her son was sleeping. Nothing, she was a 2 hour visit with a hour waisted knocking. I traveled another 45 minutes to

my next appointment which was at 12:00 and was 2.25 hours visit then traveled 30 minutes to the next appointment set for 4:00-8:00. I will only be compensated for 6 hours of a 11 hour day. The owner of the company will not let us schedule ourselves. So mileage doesn’t matter to her, not to mention this is compinstated by Medicare. That is a different subject but this company has some schetchy charting rules. I have worked for this company for 2 weeks. However, I worked for

hospice and in long term care for nearly 16 years. I honestly question this company.

Asked on May 7, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Travel time during the work day is work time and must be paid. To oversimplify what can be a complex and fact-dependent issue: 
a) Your first travel in the morning, whether to your employer's office or a patient's home, is your commute to work--you are not paid for it.
b) Your last travel back to your home when you are done working is your commute home--you are not paid.
c) BUT all travel for work between the first and last trip--for example, if you drive from patient A's home to patient B's home--is work time and must be paid.
If not being paid for that during-the-work-day travel, you may wish to file a wage and hour complaint with the state department of labor.
2) An employer may make you use your own vehicle and not reimburse you for mileage, tolls, gasoline, etc.--there is nothing you can do about this other than keep track of mileage and provide the information to your tax preparer, who may be able to take a tax deduction for it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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