When and How Must an Employee Be Compensated for Travel Time?

businessman at the airport

There are various factors that influence whether an employee must be compensated for his or her travel time to a new work site, or for off-site employment activity. One of the main factors to consider is whether the employee is actually engaging in travel as part of the employer’s principal activity or, whether the employee is engaging in travel for the convenience of the employer.

At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the primary law governing travel pay. The standard asks whether the employee’s time is spent primarily for the benefit of the employer. It also includes time spent, even if not doing work, but under the control of the employer, such as on-site, on-call time.

Pursuant to California’s Labor Code, the standard comes down to whether the employee is

subject to the control of the employer; the concept of “control” is narrower than federal standard. While the federal and state laws overlap, California’s Labor Code is of course generally more liberal and more protective of employees.

California Law

The definition of hours worked is found in the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, and refers to the time during which the employee is subject to the control travel-timeof an employer, and includes all the time the employee is “suffered or permitted to work,” whether or not required to do so. State law does not distinguish between hours worked during the “normal” working hours, or hours worked outside “normal” working hours, nor does it distinguish between hours worked in connection with an overnight out-of-town assignment. Continue reading

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Show Them the Money! California Employer Responsibility for Payday, Overtime, and Wage Statements

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

California employers are required to follow the following state and federal laws regarding paydays, final paychecks, overtime, and wage statements. As failure to do so can result in significant penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees, employers must ensure that they are in compliance with the applicable laws below.

I. PAYDAY

payday word circle marked on a calendar

Employees must be paid wages at least twice per calendar month on specific days, as established by company policy. Pursuant to California Labor Code § 207, the regular pay day schedule must be posted in a conspicuous/obvious place on a notice showing the time, day, and location of payment.

Wages earned between the 1st and 15th days of the month must be paid by the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed. Wages earned between the 16th and the last day of the month must be paid by the 10th day of the following month. Labor Code § 204(a). Continue reading