John is a plumber. Employers don’t have to pay their non-exempt (hourly) employees for an ordinary commute to and from work, even if an employee reports to different locations. Oftentimes, when an employee is required to travel for work and are entitled to be paid for that time, they are working “off the clock.” That means you are not being paid for that time. Immediately after arriving at the office on Monday morning, Anna’s boss tells her she needs to go to Costco (30 minutes away) to pick up food for the company holiday party. California law does not require the employer to pay any additional pay if an employee works on the day of a holiday unless it is part of their common practice or if the employee has worked in excess of a 40 hour, 8 hour per day work week. In general, employers are not required to pay their employees for time spent commuting to or from work, even if in a vehicle owned, leased, or subsidized by the employer or used for the purpose of ride sharing, as defined in Vehicle Code section 522. Unlike John, however, Mary is required, on her way to work, to drive to a secure storage facility to pick up the tools she will use for that day. That means if you are required to travel to some other location by your employer, all time spent traveling to that location should be paid. John has worked for his company for 6 years. This information is not intended to create, and receipt The cost per mile is designated by state law. The 1, 3 and 4-year time period does not apply from the last day of your employment. In some industries, it is very common to pay workers different rates for different types of work. If you are still working at the Company and would like to make a demand for your wages, it is always advisable to seek guidance from an attorney experienced in travel time pay disputes. They aren't entitled by law to receive a minimum wage per hour or to overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week. If your employer requires you to travel from one workplace to another in the same day, you are entitled to be paid for your travel time. Travel that is all in a day's work, however, is considered hours worked and must be paid. Compensated travel time is important to employees who must travel for work. Seyfarth Synopsis: Travel time pay is a nebulous area of the law that can leave many employers stalled on the starting blocks. Each day, he must report to his employer’s headquarters at the start and the end of his shift. The term “hours worked,” however, is not all that simple to define or apply. Overtime is based on the “regular rate of pay.”Employers who miscalculate the regular rate of pay may owe employees back pay plus interest.. California employers must also run payroll according to certain pay periods. Generally your employer does not have to pay you for travel time from home to work. If you have been reassigned to a new office, then “normal” travel time rules where you are not paid for driving from your home to work, apply. Your relationship with an attorney is no different than your relationship with any other any other person. California Paid Sick Leave: If you or a family member are sick or for preventive care, including when civil authorities recommend quarantine, isolation, or stay-at-home : The leave you have accumulated or your employer has provided to you under the Paid Sick Leave law. Under California labor laws, you are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses or losses that are directly related to your job. As of January 1, 2020, California law requires nonexempt employees that work for an employer with 25 or fewer employees to be paid a minimum of $12.00 per hour. If you decide to hire an attorney to help you recover your unpaid travel time, you should find an attorney that will listen to your situation, clearly explain the law, answer all of your questions and help you evaluate how much you are owed. Mary is also a plumber. My employer pays for travel time since my position requires lots of travel. Rules for pay of independent contractors are governed by the terms of any agreements and contracts between the two parties. Henry drives to the shop in the morning, loads supplies into his vehicle, and then heads out to the first job site for the day. Overtime Exemptions . Employers must prove that the employee's actual cost and vehicle wear-and-tear are less than the national average. Because he waited one year, he can only recover wages for three years of work with his company. Many cities actually have a higher minimum wage than the state. Does your employer require you to travel to work in a company vehicle? Most are afraid that they could experience retaliation for requesting their travel time pay. Understanding Travel Pay Laws in California As a general rule, California employees are paid for all of their time spent working, and this includes time that an employee spends traveling for work. You must be paid at least minimum wage or your regular hourly rate for travel time. This issue can become complicated for travel nurses. If you are expected to spend more than a month at the new office, the law considers the new office your permanent location, even if you later return to your original office. See California Labor Code Section 201 and Section 203. If your employer does not comply with the above, then they are the hook to pay you a penalty for each day they don’t pay you all of your final wages, up to a maximum of 30 days of your average daily pay. He waited one year until January 2020 to file his lawsuit. The determination of whether your travel time is subject to the control of your employer often involves a complex analysis of the facts, law, and circumstances. Some people do not want to file a lawsuit under any circumstances. Often times employers do not (either intentionally or inadvertently) track this time. Instead, it starts from the you file your lawsuit. The California Labor Commissioner has taken the following position on travel involving overnight stays. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) California Unfair Competition Law (UCL) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) The Civil Rights Act of 1991; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) California's Fair Pay Act; California Laws Prohibiting Human Trafficking; Other Federal and State Protections When the employee is making the normal commute between home and work. In the case, three employees were required to report to a company office before getting into a work van and traveling several hours to job sites. If you believe that you should have received travel pay, but were not compensated by your employer, please consult with an experienced California employment lawyer regarding the matter. Time spent commuting in a company provided vehicle is only compensable when it is compulsory. Paula’s employer is required to pay her for the 30 additional minutes each day she spends traveling to the new location. The bottom line is that if your employer has promised you or has actually paid you a rate higher than the minimum wage for your “regular” work, that is the rate you are entitled to be paid for your travel time. Normal commuting time is not compensable. If your employer tries to shortchange you or fails to reimburse you for work-related travel expenses, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit. (Note: California differs from federal law in complying with minimum wage requirements. California WARN Act: Layoffs Travel and Commuting Time. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. If a company knows it has not properly paid you for travel time (because its lawyer has told them so), you have many options to resolve your case without filing a lawsuit. So at what point does the time an employee spends behind the wheel, on a subway or train, or in a taxi for work become compensable travel time? Whether or not you are entitled to be paid while traveling to the first place of work in your employer’s vehicle depends on whether or not you were required to do so. Hiring an attorney to help you calculate how much you are owed is generally the best way to ensure you are paid for all time. California law requires that employers pay employees for all hours worked. 2) How is Paid Sick Leave Accrued for Travel Nurses in California? But employers do not have to use the IRS rate. California employment law also allows employers to implement a different rate of travel time pay to be no less than California minimum wage. Yes; however, as discussed above, when travel time constitutes hours worked, an employer must always pay at least minimum wage to its employees for all hours worked (see generally Wage Orders’ Section 4 and also 29 USC § 206.) All causes of action were based on the failure to pay for the transporting time. The most common travel expense is mileage. Even when traveling out of state or even the country. 1. Here is the current version of the Reporting Time … You count the number of hours you spent traveling, determine if those hours were regular hours or overtime hours, and then multiply that number by the applicable pay rate. California law requires you be paid at least the minimum wage for all “hours worked” including travel time. California workers have laws that protect them from the wrongdoings of an employer. California Travel Time federal, national and state compliance resources - regulations, laws, and state-specific analysis for employers and HR professionals. 3600 Wilshire Blvd, California nurse labor laws give travel nurses the right to receive meal and rest breaks, as well as overtime pay and minimum wage. What Methods Can Employers Use to Reimburse for Vehicle Expense? Some employers have pay plans where they pay the travel nurse a portion of their wages "tax free." An employer is not required to pay employees for any personal time taken while traveling, such as sleep time, meals, or sightseeing. California law requires you be paid at least the minimum wage for all “hours worked” including travel time. Labor Code Section 202 An employee without a written employment contract for a definite period of time who quits without giving 72 hours prior notice must be paid all of his or her wages, including accrued vacation, within 72 hours of quitting. Section 2802 of the California Labor Code requires employers to reimburse their employees for the reasonable and "necessary" expenses they incur in direct consequence of discharging their job duties. Time when you actually perform work (i.e. Your employer only has to pay for this travel time if you are required to attend the event or travel as part of your job. She also drives her own van and is required to transport tools belonging to her employer. While those concerns are legitimate, the law protects employees who confront or complain to their employers about wage issues. Such compelled travel time therefore constitutes compensable “hours worked.”. If you or a family member are sick or for preventive care, including when civil authorities recommend quarantine, isolation, or stay-at-home; The leave you have accumulated or your employer has provided to you under the Paid Sick Leave law. That means you must be paid the higher local minimum wage for the hours you work. Many cities actually have a higher minimum wage than the state. Additionally, when employers fail to pay their workers’ wages, those workers are often times entitled to additional penalties and interest. Los Angeles, If you pay a special rate for travel time, or other special circumstances, you must establish and communicate the rate to employees in advance of the event. The Portal-to-Portal Act makes clear that employers do not need to pay employees for time spent traveling from their homes to their workplace before the start of the workday or traveling from their workplace to their homes after the workday is over. The analysis is compounded when the hours worked are, for instance, part of the employee’s commute, consist of travel to a remote conference, or spent moving from client to client throughout the day. California per diem is a monetary allowance for employees who incur job-related travel expenses for work purposes. Travel Time Pay. What are the California salary laws? Employers must pay time and a half for work in excess of these hours. The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) explains how to measure travel time compensation for employees with alternative work sites: “The travel time is measured by the difference between the time it normally takes the employee to travel from her home to the assigned work place and the time it takes the employee to travel from home to the distant work … That means you must be paid the higher local minimum wage for the hours you work. For example, if an employee is entitled to two weeks (10 work days) of vacation per year, after six months of work he or she will have earned five days of vacation. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) California Unfair Competition Law (UCL) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) The Civil Rights Act of 1991; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) California's Fair Pay Act; California Laws Prohibiting Human Trafficking; Other Federal and State Protections You might have thought that if you are paid by salary, your salary covers all “hours worked.” It does not. 12 (hours) x $15 (overtime rate) = $180.00. John is an electrician for a construction company in San Jose. So if you work an 8-hour day, but spend an hour traveling each day that your company has to pay for, you have earned overtime that your company has to separately pay you for. However, in the case of transporting tools or materials in a work van, the time you spend each morning might be compensable if you are required to load/offload the items each morning/night in order to secure them. After John quit the company in January 2019. Personal Vehicle Mileage Reimbursement Rates But those damages have shorter recovery periods. These amounts may change on a yearly basis and is available through the IRS for verification. All rights reserved. In California nearly 6% of workers work from home, a percentage that almost doubles when you look at some locations in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas. From Orange County to Sacramento to San Diego and beyond, all California employees have employment law protections that can assist them in getting the wages for which they worked. Federal law requires employers to pay nonexempt employees a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.⁠4 Fortunately, California state law is more favorable to employees than in this context. Mary is entitled to be compensated for the time spent loading, unloading, and cleaning the tools, as well as for the time she spends traveling between the storage facility and company headquarters. Your attorney should be able to add real value. Salaried employees are exempt. Federal regulations mandate that an employee be paid at one-and-a-half times his regular pay rate for time worked over 40 hours a week. What do you think is the best strategy for handling my case keeping in mind my goals? CA Does your employer require to follow certain when traveling to or returning from work each day? Saturdays and Sunday are also paid at the same rate as hours worked during a weekday. When the employer provides transportation to a jobsite (example: a bus) and requires that employees only use that form of transportation to get to work. Most employers reimburse mileage at the IRS’s mileage reimbursement rate. She spends 15-minutes more (one-way) each day driving to the new location. Section 2802 covers all expenses employees incur as a necessary consequence of their job, including vehicle expenses, travel expenses, use of cell phones, home Internet service and attorney fees, just to name a few examples. Many cities actually have a higher minimum wage than the state. Under certain circumstances, you may be required to pay your employees for their travel time. After several days of trial, the firm recently settled (confidentially) a travel time pay case with a one of the firms’ clients’ former employer. When the employee is required to engage in overnight travel (for example, if the employee is required to take an airplane to attend a conference in another state, the employee must be compensated for time traveling, as well as time spent checking bags, going through security screening, etc.). ); Time when you do not actually perform work (and might even be doing personal things like checking the internet, texting and making personal calls), but when your employer exercises enough control over you that the law considers it working time. I am a california Resident working in california. When the employee has already reported to the worksite at the beginning of a shift and then the employer instructs the employee to travel to other locations. Drew Lewis has also represented numerous employees in travel time pay cases. The Control Test The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy. Travel time can include both local trips and travel away from home. Even if you ultimately decide not to demand payment for your travel time, you should keep this information. What do you mean by “control”? What is your level of experience dealing with travel time cases? An attorney can help you understand how much you are owed and the best options for recovering your wages. If your travel time becomes compensable (because it meets the requirements above), your travel expenses also become reimbursable. If you use one of these employer-provided forms of transportation, but are not required to do so, then the time you spend traveling in the vehicle does not have to be paid by your employer. California wage and hour laws affect salaried and non-salaried … Here are five key issues regarding the new decision in Hernandez v. Pacific Bell Telephone Company. California law requires you be paid at least the minimum wage for all “hours worked” including travel time. Once you conclude the time is “worked,” you must include … Paid Non-working Time Overview in California There are times when you need to pay a nonexempt employee for time not spent working. Oral agreements are fine too, and are actually the most common type of employment agreement. In California, employees are entitled to be paid for all “hours worked.” Whether or not you should be paid for travel time depends on whether the time you spend traveling meets the legal requirements to be considered “hours worked.” “Hours worked” includes: An employer must pay an employee for travel time if the employee is performing actual work during that time—when the employee is using his or his employer’s vehicle for work-related purposes. Even if you feel this way, you may still be able to recover your travel time. Many legal cases considering whether an employee should be paid for travel time focus on the issue of whether the employee was “subject to the control” of the employer during the travel time. If an employee is eligible for overtime compensation, and the employee’s travel time puts him or her over the standard forty-hour work week, then the employee should be paid overtime compensation accordingly. For additional questions on COVID-19 matters and the laws that we enforce, email us at LCO-COVID-19@dir.ca.gov. Gattuso v. Commuting Time: Under both California and federal law, travel time to and from work does not ordinarily constitute “hours worked” and is not compensable. If your employee is clocking a lot of travel hours, he may need to be paid at an overtime rate. California Labor Laws on Split Shift & Overtime; California Graveyard Shift Pay Laws ; In 2017, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported that Californians made a median household income of $67,739, making it the ninth wealthiest state in the union – a fact that's not hard to believe, considering that the state by itself has the sixth largest economy on the entire planet. On the way home from work, she is required to return to the storage facility to unload the tools, clean them, and make sure they are locked up for the night. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classifies employees as exempt and non-exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements. 10  If employees mix business and personal travel, you need to sort out the part that is business-related and pay only these expenses. See California Labor … If your employer chooses to pay you a different rate for your travel time, they must: If your employer does not track your travel time, you should do so yourself. This is because these activities add time and exertion beyond what her normal commute would require. Sometimes an attorney and a potential client are not a good fit. California Travel Time: What you need to know . This includes any time employees are required to travel out of town, whether on a one-day or overnight trip. Common examples of travel for work where you are required to stay overnight include: Time spent traveling to and from a business meeting or other event where you are required to be is compensable, whether or not the travel takes place during regular work hours, and whether or not the business trip includes an overnight stay.”. Sometimes our employers require us to travel for work-related purposes. So, let’s take a closer look. City B is a 30-minute drive from Paula’s home. It will make things significantly easier for you if you do decide to demand pay for travel time at a later date. California Vacation Pay Law: If an employer has vacation pay benefits (also known as paid-time-off), California labor law says those vacation days never expire and can be cashed out if an employee leaves or gets fired. John can only recover his unpaid travel time for the last four years of his employment. You can recover interest going back three years, and only one year of penalties can be recovered. California employees must be notified of the travel rate in advance, and the travel rate cannot be less than minimum wage. Both Anna and Henry must be paid for the time driving to Costco and the job site because they had already reported to work. 1908 California labor law requires that overtime be paid after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a a week. If the contract failed to address a final payment time frame, the contractor may have little recourse but to wait for payment. Calculating what you are owed in most instances is straightforward and simple. Pay For Education and Training Time. Time spent in home-to-work travel by an employee in an employer-provided vehicle, or in activities performed by an employee that are incidental to the use of the vehicle for commuting, generally is not "hours worked" and, therefore, does not have to be paid. For most people, that ends up being 1.5 months of pay! Under California law, earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned, or vests, as labor is performed. Specifically, the California labor law 4-hour minimum pay requirement mandates that employees who are told that they have to work actually get paid for at least half of their scheduled shift, even if they are sent home early or denied the chance to work at all. or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. But what aspects of employee travel are California employers required to pay for? Our firm focuses exclusively on representing employees in disputes involving unpaid wages. The same rule applies to employees. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! Example : Barbara is a personal care aide providing assistance to Mr. Jones. Many employees who are still working at their company might be reluctant to confront the company, either informally or legally, about being paid for travel time. Federal Paid Sick Leave Rights (2020): A Comprehensive Guide for Employees Coronavirus: A Guide to California Workers' Rights. If your employer takes any of these negative employment actions because you complained about your unpaid wages, you might have a legal claim against it, allowing you to recover lost pay, emotional distress and punitive damages. Federal regulations mandate that an employee be paid at one-and-a-half times his regular pay rate for time worked over 40 hours a week. A Brief History of California Minimum Work Hours. sending email, making phone calls, etc. However, under some circumstances your employer does have to pay you for driving from home to work: Paula works in City A, a 15-minute commute from his home. But once the employee reaches his hotel (or other destination) and is free to choose where he goes next, that time is no longer compensable. Whether an employee faces discrimination or ... California workers have the right to file a wage claim when their employers don’t pay them the wages or benefits, they are owed. Is the attorney someone you feel you can trust. If you have a claim for unpaid wages, you can only recover those wages going back four years from the date you file a lawsuit. California mileage reimbursement law As an employer, if you choose to pay employees less than what the IRS suggests, you need to support these claims. California labor laws surrounding final pay are only applicable to employees. And the California Labor Commissioner has taken the position that if the employer reimburses at the IRS rate, it has satisfied its obligation. It also includes time spent, even if not doing work, but under the control of the employer, such as on-site, on-call time. Yes. Travel Pay Rate. Yet all employees know that their commute to and from work is generally not considered time they spend working. Most legal claims can be and actually are settled before a lawsuit is ever filed. 1100 Alma Suite 209 Menlo Park, California 94025, 660 J St. Suite 126 Sacramento, California 95814, 2998 Douglas Blvd., Suite 375 Roseville, California 95661, © 2020 by Drew Lewis, PC - California Employment Lawyers. Separately list your travel time, including the total hours traveled and your travel time rate on each pay stub. These amounts may change on a yearly basis and is available through the IRS for verification. If the employer is simply allowing you to take time off to attend a work-related event and you are not compelled to attend the event, travel time is probably not compensable. The employee must be paid for all hours spent between the time he arrives at the airport and the time he arrives at his hotel. Makeup Time Pay California employment law also allows employers to implement a different rate of travel time pay to be no less than California minimum wage. Paula’s manager tells her she needs to work in the company’s office in City B for a week to cover for an employee that is on vacation. John is not entitled to be paid for the time he spends commuting between his home and company headquarters because even though he is hauling tools that belong to his employer, that does not add time or exertion to his commute. And it is one reason the employer, if they are going to pay you a different rate for travel time, must show you on your paystub the total hours you traveled and the rate that they are paying you for those hours. The court examined the case of Overton v. California Vacation Pay Law: If an employer has vacation pay benefits (also known as paid-time-off), California labor law says those vacation days never expire and can be cashed out if an employee leaves or gets fired. The Portal-to-Portal Act makes clear that employers do not need to pay employees for time spent traveling from their homes to their workplace before the start of the workday or traveling from their workplace to their homes after the workday is over. California labor law is on your side. Employers must reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary work-related expenses. Labor Code Section 207 Wages earned between the 1 st and 15 th days, inclusive, of any calendar month must be paid no later than the 26 th day of the month during which the labor was performed, and wages earned between the 16 th and last day of the month must be paid by the 10 th day of the following month. If you require employees to attend lectures, work courses, employer-sponsored training programs, or employee meetings, you must count that time as hours worked for pay purposes. Barbara drives him to the Post Office and grocery store during the workday. Employees will receive 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use (the previous rate in 2019 was 58 cents per mile.) See 29 CFR § 785.35One exception to this general rule is when an employee’s workday has ended and they are called back to work. If you are a non-exempt employee and your company pays you a salary, you are also entitled to be paid for your travel time. For travel time overtime pay in this scenario, the state uses a “weighted average” method. California wage and hour law requires employers to provide non-exempt employees with overtime pay when they work over a certain number of hours. Some employers provide ridesharing vans, buses or other forms of transportation for employees to get to work. 1908, Other employees have been provided a work vehicle that they drive home every day. In general, your business should pay employees for the time they spend traveling for work-related activities. John reports to job sites (and not an office) throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento areas each day. It is important to act quickly when you have not been paid all your wages. Can an employee use California Paid Sick Leave due to COVID-19 illness? Trying to understand California labor law can be overwhelming, but as a member of CalChamber, you can find the information you need all in one convenient location. My employer is based in Michigan. In conclusion, California employees who travel for work are often entitled to travel pay. Sometimes employers will try to calculate overtime using only the lower rate paid for travel.