Q: DOES TRAVEL TIME NEED TO BE PAID AS OVERTIME IN CALIFORNIA
We sometimes pay our employees an hour of travel time for commuting during high traffic time around Los Angeles. I do not believe we are required to because it is generally under 40 miles one way. However, in LA traffic that can mean 4 hours of drive time round trip. How can we pay them for that hour of drive time without it being considered overtime? or is there a better way to include that in their pay?
CA Lab Law is employee-favorable. The risks and penalties for a labor violation can be drastic. Take the safe route (Pun intended) and pay employees for drive time, even if it results in overtime.
If you do not, and you violate a Lab. Law, one disgruntled employee can result in an Audit of all your payroll records for years back. Here is simple guideline from CA DLSE:
“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 site. This could calculate to no commute time if, for instance, the travel time is less from the employee’s home to the distant work site than the normal commute travel time by the employee.” (Cadell, Dept. of Industrial Relations (April 2003) Opinion Letter No.2003.04.22, Travel Time Pay for Employee with Alternative Work sites at p. 2.)
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