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. 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. So, YES, travel nurses qualify for paid-sick-leave (PSL) in California! 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 Internal Revenue Service provides an outline for employers to go by when paying per diem rates to employees in California. 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. Most employers reimburse mileage at the IRS’s mileage reimbursement rate. In other words, she is performing actual work for her employer during that time. Separately, Labor Code section 233 (commonly referred to as the “Kin Care” law) requires an employer to allow an employee to use accrued and “available” sick leave (which is the amount that would accrue during a six month period) for the purposes specified in the paid sick leave law. After several days of trial, the firm recently settled (confidentially) a travel time pay case with a one of the firms’ clients’ former employer. More than 8 million people now work exclusively from home. Some employers provide ridesharing vans, buses or other forms of transportation for employees to get to work. 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. If you are interested in resolving your case without having to file a lawsuit and obtaining maximum compensation (including interest and penalties), you should contact an experienced attorney to help you negotiate the settlement. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. A comprehensive guide to travel time pay rules in California—when employees are entitled to be paid for travel time and how to recover those lost wages. Your employer can choose to pay you a different rate for your travel time than it pays for your regular 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. 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. Federal Paid Sick Leave Rights (2020): A Comprehensive Guide for Employees Coronavirus: A Guide to California Workers' Rights. However, to establish this pay rate for travel time, employers must inform workers before travel. Time spent driving, or as a passenger on an airplane, train, bus, taxi cab, or car, or other mode of transport, in traveling to and from this out-of-town event, and time spent waiting to purchase a ticket, check baggage, or get on board, is … time spent carrying out the employer’s directives, and thus, can only be characterized as time in which the employee is subject to the employer’s control. Often times employers do not (either intentionally or inadvertently) track this time. When, during required overnight travel, the employee takes time to do personal things like go out to dinner, go sight-seeing, or sleep. But those damages have shorter recovery periods. As an enforcement policy, WHD will not consider as work time the time the employee spends as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus or automobile when in travel away … “[i]f an employee is required to report to the employer’s business premises before proceeding to an off-premises work site, all of the time from the moment of reporting until the employee is released to proceed directly to his or her home is time subject to the control of the employer, and constitutes hours worked.”. Generally your employer does not have to pay you for travel time from home to work. Here is the current version of the Reporting Time … What do you think is the best strategy for handling my case keeping in mind my goals? California per diem is a monetary allowance for employees who incur job-related travel expenses for work purposes. Compulsory travel time longer than the employee's normal commute is considered compensable time. The state Labor Commissioner cited a Southern California subcontractor for $12 million in wage theft infractions affecting more ... 3600 Wilshire Blvd This is true even if you carry company tools or materials in your work vehicle. Here's a breakdown of the current IRS mileage reimbursement rates for California as of January 2020. Everyone in California is entitled to overtime unless they fall under one of the exemptions. Most are afraid that they could experience retaliation for requesting their travel time pay. ); 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. The court explained that employers are only required to pay for employee’s commute time in company provided vehicles if it is required. Note that you must be free to go where you choose, to be "off the clock". Workers in California have the right to fair employment, the right to receive all wages for hours worked and overtime pay on time, and the right to file a wage claim lawsuit if an employer violates their rights. 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. And there are many reasons why the company would want to settle before you actually do file a lawsuit. This method is incorrect. 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. You must be paid at least minimum wage or your regular hourly rate for travel time. California nurse labor laws give travel nurses the right to receive meal and rest breaks, as well as overtime pay and minimum wage. California law requires your employer to reimburse you for all necessary expenses you incur because of your job. Your attorney should be able to add real value. In some industries, it is very common to pay workers different rates for different types of work. 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. Personal Vehicle Mileage Reimbursement Rates 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. They can reimburse for mileage at a lower rate, so long as the rate covers the reasonable expenses incurred by the employee. Here are some other common issues that arise in the context of employee travel: If you are required to travel and stay overnight for work, you might be entitled to be paid for the time you spend traveling. Your employer can even pay you a flat rate for your travel time hours so long as that rate is equal to at least the minimum wage for all time spent driving. Does your employer require to follow certain when traveling to or returning from work each day? The employer did not pay the employees for their travel time. Employers must reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary work-related expenses. 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? This issue can become complicated for travel nurses. Here are some guidelines to help ensure that employees get paid for all hours worked, including any compensable travel time. 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. 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. 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. Travel Time Pay. Normal commuting time is not compensable. 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. This provision applies only if the travel is within the normal … This is why it is important to consult with an attorney that is experienced in representing employees in travel time pay cases. 2) How is Paid Sick Leave Accrued for Travel Nurses in California? See California Labor … Get a free consultation today. A Brief History of California Minimum Work Hours. Many cities actually have a higher minimum wage than the state. Time spent commuting in a company provided vehicle is only compensable when it is compulsory. 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. 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. While most attorneys can “handle” a case involving unpaid travel time pay, experience matters. 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. Yet all employees know that their commute to and from work is generally not considered time they spend working. California law requires you be paid at least the minimum wage for all “hours worked” including travel time. John reports to job sites (and not an office) throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento areas each day. After John quit the company in January 2019. 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. This information is not intended to create, and receipt Also , the employer can choose to pay no less than minimum wage for travel time. If you have an employment agreement stating that you will be paid a certain amount for any work performed, you must be paid that same rate for travel time. You can recover interest going back three years, and only one year of penalties can be recovered. 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 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. 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. The same rule applies to employees. Travel and Commuting Time. Additionally, when employers fail to pay their workers’ wages, those workers are often times entitled to additional penalties and interest. Overtime Pay for Travel Time If your employee is clocking a lot of travel hours, he may need to be paid at an overtime rate. However, this must be stated before the travel takes place. The 1, 3 and 4-year time period does not apply from the last day of your employment. California Travel Time: What you need to know . Some employers have pay plans where they pay the travel nurse a portion of their wages "tax free." California minimum wage laws require an employer to count employee travel time as hours worked whenever it requires employees to travel, no matter when the travel occurs. John has worked for his company for 6 years. Overtime Exemptions . California labor laws surrounding final pay are only applicable to employees. It is important to act quickly when you have not been paid all your wages. 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. 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