Business Law, employment law, Legal

What You Need to Know About Travel Time Pay in California

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TRAVEL TIME VS COMMUTING TIME: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

But before we delve into the topic, let’s make sure that you understand the difference between commuting time and travel time. The former refers to an employee’s personal time spent to commute back and forth from work to home, while travel time is time spent traveling by an employee for work-related activities.

Under California employment laws, travel time should be paid, and can be either local trips or travel away from home.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR TRAVEL TIME PAY?

You are eligible to receive pay for local travel time only if you are a non-exempt employee (meaning: you are employed on an hourly basis). Exempt employees, who are paid based on their performance and expertise, are not entitled to travel time pay.

For non-exempt employees, travel time – as well as education and training time – are classified as “working hours,” which means their employers are legally required to pay them for it.

If you are asked by your employer or supervisor to drive to a store to pick up some items during normal work hours, you should be paid for your travel time.

TIME SPENT TRAVELING AWAY FROM HOME

An employer in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California is required to compensate his employees for any time spent traveling away from home. Let’s say, for example, that your employer directs you to attend a two-day event in New York City. Since you will have to spend time traveling from Los Angeles to New York City, your employer should pay travel time.

HOW TO CALCULATE TRAVEL TIME PAY?

Calculating travel time pay for salaried employees, who get paid bi-weekly or monthly, is not a problem, since they get paid regardless of the number of hours worked.

Hourly employees, meanwhile, should be paid on an hourly basis, which means travel time may not be as easy to calculate. It is highly advised to speak to an employment law attorney to find out whether or not travel time pay was calculated properly in your particular situation.

IS ONE-DAY OR OVERNIGHT STAY PAID?

If you have not been for a one-day or overnight stay, seek immediately legal advice of a lawyer. While hourly employees in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California are generally required to receive travel time pay in these situations, there are certain exceptions. That is why you should speak to an attorney to learn more.

SHOULD YOUR EMPLOYER COMPENSATE FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES?

Definitely. Travel time itself is not the only thing that an employer pays for. Travel expenses should be compensated by your employer, as employees can generally deduct unreimbursed travel expenses. In case you are traveling for both work-related activities and personal travel, you will have to keep separate checks for business-related expenses.

 

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Alone in the Woods

There are moments in my life where the silence is the only partner I have. In that part of the woods, emotions crash onto my brain, and I realize that it takes my every breath and thought to not be engulfed in despair. So I end each night tired, lost, and just a bit more broken.

But then daylight. The box, the meditation, the writing, the connection with a loved one, the legal, the speaking to with my best friend, the warm touch of my wife, mother and perhaps my family and the pain recedes just a tiny bit. But if I give myself space, images of the ones lost come to me, and so I run and deny and keep busy and keep moving just so I am not so focused on their long gone smiles and the warmth they provided.

I know it’s life. I know I am not unique. I know. I know. I know. But the pain doesn’t stop. And the silence gets deeper. The woods get darker. Yet I keep marching on, knowing somewhere, at some point, there will be a day break. And I won’t be alone. Or quiet. Till then I keep marching on.

 

Business Law, Legal

4 Common Partnership Mistakes

Partnerships can be a useful strategy, especially when one is trying to start a small business, and there is a need for varying skills and money. Partnerships can bring complementary skills and capital into a business to make it grow and prosper faster. The odds of conflict and financial risk, however, can increase when two or more people get together to run a business.

Lack of Written Agreement
Like any other business arrangement, a written contract solidifies and clarifies the parameters of a partnership. Written agreements cover issues such as the extent of each partner’s tasks and responsibilities, the division of net income, and the rules around changes to the partnership structure. Partnerships that start without a written contract run the very real risk of serious partner disputes ending in legal action or even the dissolution of the partnership. When two or more people choose to go into business together, they should map out their shared understanding of the arrangement, and hire an experienced business lawyer to draw up the contract.

Incompatible Long-Term Outlooks
In the beginning of a business venture, partners are often optimistic of the chances of success and ignore some of the more mundane details, such as where each owner sees the business going and how he or she would handle situations along the road.  Ultimately, this can gridlock a business if partners cannot agree on a plan of action to take the company forward.

Different Customer Service Protocols
In almost all long-term businesses, one of the hallmarks of success is that customers are happy with their interactions with the business. One measure of satisfaction is that the customer feels he or she is being interacted with the same way every time. The same goes for business partners. If business partners both interact with customers and have vastly different ways of doing so, it can lead customers to avoid the business because they do not know what to expect when they call or come in.

Lack of Exit Strategy
When you first go into business with a partner, the last thing on your mind is leaving it. Everyone eventually turns over their businesses. It may be either through sale, passing it to family or through death. If a partnership turns sour, understanding the rules around leaving the business becomes even more urgent. Written partnership agreements – signed before you open the doors for the first time – should contain rules around how and under what circumstances each partner can leave the business. For example, there may be restrictions around who you can sell your partnership interest to or what happens to your share if you are medically incapacitated or die. Like most business disputes, it can be difficult to agree on these issues as they happen if there is no provision in the agreement for them upfront.

 

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

A Sad House Gets Sadder

It’s taken me a few days to really absorb the loss of our family dog. I brought Bebo for my mom 12 years ago, but funnily enough my dad named her. It took him less than a minute. As I stroked her hair before we put her down, I couldn’t help remembering how I stroked my father’s hair in Iran as we cleaned his body before cremation. Both times, tears streamed down my face, and regret covered my soul.

The sheer pain in my heart felt as if I would melt into a torrent of grief and loss. Bebo knew she was going. Her eyes looked at my calmly as she accepted her fate, and I wondered if I would be blessed enough to do the same when my time came.

Papa always talked about Death and how he was content with his life. As I struggle in my stormy emotions, and the awareness of yet another death in our family, I feel our house get even sadder. A certain quietness reigns through the rooms, and it feels as if we speak in whispers at a funeral. Joy comes occasionally, but more often, it is just a thick blanket of silence where everyone in the house pretends to move forward.

Each week it seems something new comes up that takes out just a bit more air out of the house, and so I sit in silence, bathing myself over and over with grief, and feeling if the ache in my heart will ever go away. I know logically that loss is a part of life, but for it to happen to us and loved ones suddenly over and over not only is destabilizing, it makes me wonder how I can move forward.

I used to look forward to new weeks, and changes, but lately it’s filled with dread and wonder who or what will end next. It truly makes me feel alone.