Hourly employee punching out to run an errand

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Hourly employee punching out to run an errand

What is the requirements of an hourly employee punching out to run an errand and time adjusted once returned. The reason this is required is because the company does not want to be liable while off site, however shouldn’t the company be liable if we are required to perform work while off site?

Asked on May 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the employee is running an errand for the company or her manager, this is still worktime and she needs to be paid for it: she would still be on the clock while doing offsite work and would still be paid. It is illegal to not pay an employee for offsite work, even an "errand," and the employee could file a complaint with the department of labor and/or sue for the unpaid wages (e.g. in small claims) if the company will not pay. All work done at employer request or instruction is paid work time.
And even if the company did punch the employee out, if she were in an accident while conduct an errand for her employer, the employer would be as liable as if she had not punched out: her being on or (illegally) off the clock does not affect company liability for accidents, injuries, damage, etc. occuring when the employee is doing something at company direction or for the company.
Of course, if this was a personal errand for the employee herself, it was proper to punch her out.


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