Do you pay your employees for drive time?

An ex employee of mine called me to say he moved out of state and just got a job with another window cleaning company. He worked his first day today and everything went well, he drove with the boss and helped him do 2-3 houses and several commercial jobs. about 9hrs elapsed from the time he was picked up till the time hes was dropped off. He got paid at the end of the day for 4 hrs of work! what should have been 12x8 (I’m assuming 1 hr lunch) ended up being 12x4 HAS ANYONE HEARD OF THIS or practiced this method of compensation??? What would you do if as employee this happened to you? Im interested in hearing as many responses as possible please your opinion is valued thank you

doesn’t add up But i would like some more cowbell please

Are you saying the guy only got paid for the time he was on each job? Your question is a little confusing.

Thats messed up.
He should be paid from the time the first job starts, until the last job ends. either that or pay a flat percentage.

When I hire help I find it much more effective to pay a flat % (25-30%) I seem to get better help that way, they move faster, and they make more $ per hour when you break it down, so its a win, win, win situation.

but stopping the clock everytime you hop in the truck. The employer sounds like a nut.

Oh and to answer your question: “what would I do if I where the employees?”

I would tell the guy to F off, and I would use that 4 hour paycheck to buy fliers and go start my own window cleaning business.

Thats exactly what I’m saying ! I think its confusing you because its so ridiculous. Basically the time card gets stamped (compensated) everytime he gets out of the truck to clean windows and again(not compensated) when he gets in to drive to the next stop. thx for your reply

Right on ! thanks Doug

Doug, are those % based on the employee doing the job himself or with another guy?

I’m not sure, but I think that might actually be illegal. In any case, he’s ripping his employees off. I’d flip a lid on him if he paid me for 4 hours after “working” 9

Ya, that sounds iffy to me. In my area of work we can have 2 hours of driving in between jobs over a day’s time.
I pay from the time the first job starts until we get back to my house(office).

Totally illegal to do it that way. This has been discussed before and it is totally illegal. You can pay an employee a reduced wage for drive (lower wage for travel) time but you cant just not pay them. There was alot of debate on this over on NWCD years ago about business owners starting the clock when their crews arrived on the first job. This breaks labor laws too as well. Any time an employee is under your care, they are your responsibility. They are on the clock whether you like it or not. If they are driving to a job, home from a job, it doesnt matter. They must be compensated when they are on the clock. This practice is unethical and a business owner can get into serious hot water if an employee decides they want back pay. There is no way I would even attempt to screw someone this way. Your best employee can become your worst employee overnight with this type of practice.


If this was my employer, I’d be finding a new job and then hiring a lawyer!

'Cause a lawyer will want to spend their time to help recover that lost $48 (12 X $8 v. 12 X $4), eh?

My brother worked for a company that did this for years and years. There were jobs that were out of state 4 hours away that they never paid the employees a dime to or from work. They drove the company vehicles too every time. If you X that by 8 guys over a 5 year period, you bet a lawyer would jump at that in a second. Im not a sue happy kind of person so I would get in touch with the NLRB first if I had a dispute (im not that kind of guy either).


Here in San Diego one of the more “exclusive shops” just got the whole right arm of law in their bum for this same type of funny buisiness. I think I’ll call the guy and see how it all worked out, if it’s funny I’ll post it.

But then again thinking about it, it is free country (for now anyways). So if you want to work for a dime bag it’s your decision.

I paid drive time as minimum wage and work time as a different rate! that way they got paid…I used to pay for work time only…not fair “or legal” so I changed the pay. one rate for drive time and one rate for work time.

Steve, I don’t think I agree with that strict application. I posted a thread on When am I required to begin pay for the day? Pennsylvania – Labor Law Talk to this effect. The links that ‘pattyMD’ posted are worth reading.

I would never pay for drive time, what job pays for drive time? I pay a percentage of each job which is the only way that really makes sense. There are companies here in San Diego that only pay 9.00 per hour and don’t pay drive time. Hire employess with trucks, pay them a percentage and maybe mileage if its their vehicle

I pay commission too so drive time isnt an issue. My guys do punch a time clock when they arrive in the morning and at the end of the day. This is required by the NLRB even though we are set up on commission basis. Hours must be logged incase thyey go over 40 hours. Overtime is due at that point. If your guys are “subs” and meet strict guidelines set by the IRS for this classification, then I guess you are ok then. If you go to the National Labor Relations Boards’ website or call them, you are 100% required to pay an employee for drive time. Its like paying a trucker to start the clock when they arrive at the dock of their destination and stop when they are driving back to the terminal. It totally bites to pay drive time I agree. It will eat your bottom line away to where you wont have crap for a profit. This is why I love commission so much. Keeps everyone humping instead of slacking.