What re my rights regarding getting aid for travel expenses and having to use my own vehicle?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What re my rights regarding getting aid for travel expenses and having to use my own vehicle?

I work for an oilfield construction company. It pays for housing, company vehicles and supply gas cards; we live 6 in a house. Each company truck is a 3-man crew in which we ride with our crew to different locations daily, sometimes an hour away, sometimes 2 hours away. Recently, I was given the option to either drive my own truck to location and pay for my own gas as well or not work and not get paid. The reason they told me this is because a supervisor decided to use our crews, driver and company truck to start picking him up instead. We were told that we didn’t have a driver so either drive my personal vehicle and pay my own gas or not work and sit at the house. No other co-worker of mine has to drive their personal vehicles or pay their own gas. Also, to get to our locations after driving the main roads forever is turn down side dirt paths witch are horrible with huge holes, they are washer board grated because these are not roads the city puts in so I’m have a lot of wear being added to my truck as well as I’m forced to drive another co-worker to location as well but he doesn’t have to help with gas and I’m not getting paid for any travel time. Is this legal or am I at least supposed to be reimbursed for my expenses or time since I don’t have a choice in the matter and I need to mention we do get 20 a day per diem but only on days they work us and sometimes we are stuck out of town and work 1 to 2 days a week.

Asked on July 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the law does NOT require reimbursement for the use of your vehicle (whether in terms of payment for gasoline or some payment per mile) and *does* allow the employer to require employees to use their own vehicles for work. The law also does not require that all employees be treated alike or fairly. Also, you do not have to be paid travel time to go from wherever you are staying to the worksite, if you go there directly, or to return from the worksite to where you stay. Based on what you write, what is being required of you is unfair, but legal.

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