In California, is it legal to not compensate employees for travel time?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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In California, is it legal to not compensate employees for travel time?

My company has an office nearby and we are
required to report to the office if we don’t
have any appointments/work in the morning.
Employees are assigned inspections which will be
at different locations every day.

We drive our own vehicles for work but are
compensated by the employer for gas, wear, tear.

Currently it has been decided that our travel to
our first appointment and the travel time home
after the last appointment will not be

The vast majority of the time, our travel to our
first appointment and last appointment is
greater in distance than to the office.

Asked on August 22, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF you first drive or last drive is longer than the drive to your office which would be considered your normal, and non-compensated, commute, then if you are an hourly employee, you should be paid for the difference in travel time. So if it normally takes you 20 minutes to get to work, but 35 to get to the first appointment, you should be paid for the  additional 15 minutes. The same principal applies to your drive home from last appointment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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