Generally, an employee’s “ordinary commute” to and from work is not compensable under California labor law. This is true even when the employee commutes in a vehicle that is owned, leased, or subsidized by the employer. Likewise, employees who are part of a home dispatch program and who may transport tools and equipment without expending extra effort or requiring extra time for transport during their commute time are not performing compensable work.
Further, a commute may be an “ordinary commute,” and thus non-compensable, even if the employee travels to different worksites on different days, located within reasonable distances.
However, the DLSE has taken the position that travel involving a substantial distance from the assigned work place to a dist ant work site to report to work on a short-term basis is compensable travel.
There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not you are required to pay for time which your employees spend traveling to job sites : whether the employees had an expectation of routinely working in different workplaces; whether the distance is reasonab le ; whether the employee is carrying the employer’s equipment ; whether the employer is exercising control over the employee will all have an effect on the final determination .
For assistance on this and other wage and hour questions, please contact the Labor & Employment Department at SBEMP.
Employment & Labor Law Attorneys of SBEMP
SBEMP’S Labor and Employment Department is comprised of attorneys with decades of experience in a broad range of labor and employment matters from day-to-day counseling to labor negotiations and litigation. Our team is prepared to guide our clients through the complex myriad of employment laws affecting California employers. We assist our clients with day-to-day personnel management issues, such as drafting employment policies, managing leaves of absence, identifying potential problems in hiring and firing practices, and ensuring wage and hour compliance. Our attorneys are also experienced litigators who regularly represent clients in all types of employment litigation, including defending wage and hour class actions as well as lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Additionally, we regularly represent clients in administrative proceedings, such as Labor Commissioner claims, CalOSHA citations, DFEH and EEOC investigations, and DLSE complaints. Our labor and employment practice is also prepared to assist clients with labor negotiations and disputes. Our labor attorneys are experienced in negotiating labor agreements as well as representing clients before the NLRB.
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