Is riding in a vehicle passenger from job site to job site compensable time?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is riding in a vehicle passenger from job site to job site compensable time?

As in construction industry or landscape industry, crews are required to ride in a truck from job site to job site to carry out their normal job duties. Is that paid work time or can the employer automatically deduct a certain amount of hours/time mark as unpaid time from hours worked on a daily basis.

Asked on September 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is compensable time. To oversimplify somewhat, your employer does not need to pay you for your trip to work in the morning (whether that is to the employer's location, or directly from home to the first job site) or your trip home in the afternoon or evening--those are your normal commute, and employers don't pay for commuting time. But any travel time in between *is* work time: it is time that you are going somewhere for the employer's benefit, at their instruction, in order to do your job. Since it's not the commute to/from work (which is specifically exempted from being paid for), they have to pay you for the during-the-workday travel. If they will not, you could file a wage and hour complaint with the state department of labor and/or file a lawsuit (e.g. in small claims court) for the money.

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