Is my employer cheating me on my travel time pay?

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Is my employer cheating me on my travel time pay?

My employer is making me take a company car home and drive it to a job site that is an hour away. He said he will only pay me a half hour travel time because I’m not driving to my work place to get the car and driving to the job site. I think if I’m in the company car driving to a job that is working. He is threatening to fire me for insubordination because I do not agree with his terms. I’m not sure if he is right or not.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is probably right. Employers do not need to compensate for  the employee's regular commute to work--that much is clear. They do not need to pay the employee for traveling to a different location that is commensurate in distance to the normal place of business--for example, if instead of driving to your office, you drove to a client's office which is the same distance (or less) away, you would not have to be paid for that travel. It flows from that principle that an employer, in paying you for travel, does not have to pay you for the amount of time you would have spent on your normal commute, if  you had gone to the office instead of to the job site.


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