Should Workers Get Paid for the Time They Spend Driving?

Office workers everywhere would love to get paid for their morning commute, but that’s an unrealistic ask. 

The requirements of most jobs say you must be at your work at a specific time and leave it up to the employee to decide where to live and how to get there. 

However, some jobs aren’t so simple. Some employees don’t work from a set location and must travel from worksite to worksite to do their jobs. 

Should these workers get paid for travel time?

Boss Says No

One such worker came to Reddit after their boss docked 10 hours of travel time from their pay. The Original Poster (OP) said they work as a tower technician and must travel to various electrical towers scattered throughout their region as a regular part of the job. 

This past week, the tower locations were 2.5 hours from the employee’s base location, but the boss said “truck time” didn’t count as paid time. 

Is Boss Right?

OP doesn’t feel that this is fair, as they’re required to travel to these sites to complete their work. They came to Reddit seeking advice on approaching this with their boss, as they don’t want to lose their job. 

Check Legality

Reddit users said OP’s first step is to check the legal implications. Some states have specific requirements for what’s considered paid work and what isn’t. They should check with the Department of Labor and their state’s equivalent and can even arrange a consultation with an employment attorney to verify these requirements. 

Different Circumstances, Different Requirments

Some users said the requirements may vary based on circumstances. Whether OP is driving a personal or company vehicle may play a role. Whether OP travels directly from home to the work site or must check in at an office first may also factor in. 

Travel Time is Work Time

Most said that jobs requiring this type of travel differ significantly from jobs with a set location. The vehicle serves as the office, and employees should be considered on the clock the second they get behind the wheel. 

The boss’s refusal to pay for these driving hours sounds like wage theft. 

Of course, some industries get special consideration, like how flight attendants aren’t paid until the doors are closed, so it’s always best to verify with the Department of Labor before engaging the boss in conversation. 

Time for a New Job

Other users said OP should start looking for a new job. Their skills are in high demand; if the current boss refuses to pay for the hours worked, another will. 

Some also mentioned that this type of nickel and diming employees indicates problems in the business model. Likely, the company isn’t doing well, and the boss is trying to save money however he can, whether legal or not. 

Bosses Aren’t Looking Out for You

The bottom line: companies will do whatever they can to save money. Many even go so far as to steal wages from the people they depend upon to do the work. 

Employees must know their rights and protect themselves from these greedy bosses looking to take advantage. 

Source: Reddit

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.