According to the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, hours worked are considered the "time during which the employee is subject to the control of an employer" and includes all the time the employee is working. Travel time for work-related reasons falls into this category.
Different types of subcategories fall under the travel time compensation law umbrella. Besides laws for regular jobs (such as a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 job), there are some that apply when you're out of town on business. Reimbursement by your employer is also necessary for expenses that happen when traveling for work.
Employers that ask for you to meet at one location, and then use their transportation for getting to and from work (not using your own car), need to compensate you for this travel time in your paycheck; this travel time must be taken into account and added to your earnings. The State of California Division of Labor and Standards Enforcement notes that there is a difference between your normal commute to work and time taken to travel on behalf of your employer.
If you are required to attend a meeting or training session that is out of town, your employer will need to also provide some compensation. Time spent traveling to the out-of-town location is to be paid, as well as any time that you are working for your employer. Any rests, meal breaks or personal time is not to be compensated.
Employers make frequent mistakes as to who is covered in compensation, whether it be for travel or overtime work that includes travel. Record and keep copies of your own documentation. Consult with your local DLSE office before filing a claim or seeking legal counsel.
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