Traveling can be time-consuming and costly, especially for employees working in industries and services that require local, national, or global attention. While the idea of traveling and visiting new places can be exciting, it is essential to know if you are entitled to work-related travel time from your California employer.
Compensable travel time goes unaccounted for when employers intentionally or unintentionally avoid it. If your boss has failed to pay for your travel time, it is essential to understand your rights and in which cases compensation is owed to you for work-related traveling. At Blackstone Law, our employment lawyer seeks to continually help California clients protect their rights and successfully recover the compensation they are owed.
Understanding Compulsory Travel Time According to California Labor Laws
Every employee in California must receive payment for hours worked. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to payment for travel time, it is essential to understand your rights. In California, employers are required to compensate employees for compulsory travel time.
In many cases, according to California labor laws, employees are entitled to travel time. This may be so in the circumstances such as when an employer provides transportation while the employee is considered to be performing work. According to the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, ‘hours worked’ are considered the time when the employee is subject to the employer’s control.
Under state law, you may be entitled to travel pay during:
- An out-of-town work-related meeting, training, or event with required attendance.
- Travel to and from a required event or meeting, whether by driving, on a train, plane, or another method of transportation.
- Time spent purchasing a ticket, claiming or checking baggage, boarding, or other time subject to the employer’s control.
Time that legally may not be considered compensable travel pay includes:
- Lunch breaks
- Standard sleeping hours overnight
- Personal travel pursuits
- Personal changes to a business itinerary
Understanding the significant differences between compensable travel time and when an employer is not required to provide compulsory travel time is essential. While personal travel and ventures are not compensable, any tasks and otherwise employer-controlled activities are compensable. When you are missing or losing wages due to an employer’s intentional error, retaining the help of an attorney may help you recover the payments you are owed.
How Can I Recover Payments for Eligible Work-Related Travel Time?
Employees that have unpaid travel time from their employees may have the opportunity to make a dispute and take action necessary to recover the compensation they are entitled to receive. However, there are limitations on how long an employee has to make a dispute and collect the unpaid compensation.
Below is the statute of limitations for recovering unpaid travel time:
- Unpaid Wages: Four years from the date you file a lawsuit.
- Interest: Recoverable for up to three years prior.
- Penalties: Recoverable for up to one year prior.
By taking legal action, you may also recover the employer’s unpaid compensation, interest, and penalty pay. Although there are shorter recovery periods for certain wages and compensation, a skilled attorney may help you gather all the information necessary to build a strong claim.
Steps to Take When Recovering Wages for Work-Related Travel Time
When seeking to recover what you are owed for travel time, it is essential to ensure you are within the time frame permitted for the payments in question. Identifying the employer or company responsible for payroll in these circumstances is also essential for the accuracy and progression of your claim.
What to do when recovering wages for travel time pay in California:
- Identify the employer or company that owes you the compensation.
- Gather information on hours worked, calculated travel time, paystubs, and any documents supporting your claim.
- Check the deadline and statute of limitations for wages you are entitled to receive.
- Complete an Initial Report or Claim with the Labor Commissioner’s district office.
- Attend your California wage settlement conference with a deputy labor commissioner.
- Prove your claim with your evidence at your hearing.
- Consult with a travel time pay employment lawyer to retain legal help in recovering your compensation if your employer appeals.
Recovering compensation for lost travel time wages may be complex if your employer refuses or decides to appeal your claim. You may feel more at ease with your attorney throughout court proceedings and avoid mistakes or delays. With collected proof and evidence, retaining an attorney may help you recover the compensation you are entitled to, with eligible interest and penalties.
Retain a Travel Time Pay Attorney at Blackstone Law to Help Ensure Your Rights Are Upheld
Losing income due to an employer’s error or disregard for your entitled travel time can cause financial challenges and stress. By partnering with a skilled employment lawyer, you may feel more at ease throughout the lawsuit and legal proceedings. At times, employees are afraid of pursuing legal action against their employer for the wages they are owed for fear of losing their job or straining their workplace relationships.
We are committed to helping our clients uphold their rights and avoid additional losses at Blackstone Law. If you seek to recover the wages you are owed for eligible travel time and expenses, you may benefit from retaining our strategized and professional legal representation. Complete a contact form or call us at (310) 956-4054 to schedule a consultation.