Human Resources/Stand bye pay


I am an hourly employee as an engineer in reseach and developement for a privately owned company in MI who occassionally has to go out in the field with the operations side of the company to test and operate the tools which we make.

Say I've travelled hours from home in a company vehicle to the job site and stay in a hotel for nights on end.  The company vehicle pretty much has to stay out with the crew.  One day we have to wait on a sub-contractor and we have a day of downtime which we stay at the hotel, unable to go home for the day.  That day was not not charged to the client as stand bye time.

Should I be paid for any time that day that I could not go home?


Short answer-  YES--   you should be paid for waiting time/ down time-- and especially since it is travel away from your home town where you are captive and must remain with the working crew.  Whether or not your employer "bills"  the client for the down time day is irrelevant,  you should still be paid for a work day for the typical hours you would work that day.  

I have attached a link to the FLSA website to explain how and when travel time would be paid.  IT is a flow chart of sorts that will direct you through  yes and no questions to derive whether you would be paid.
Click the blue arrow on the page to begin,  you will continue through two or three pages of information, then come to the page with all the buttons--click the one for travel time and then select employee and follow through based on your situation.

There are other reasons your example would require the employer to pay you as well,  but the travel time reason is as good as any.

PS-  the "work" time you are paid while "waiting" on the road would also contribute to hours worked to count toward overtime  (40 hours in a work week).   So, if for example, you are stuck in a hotel room Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday due to a blizzard and normally work 10 hours a day,  you should be paid 30 hours..  When the boss says,  " We're behind and need everyone to work 12 hours for Thurs, Fri and Saturday,  then you would be into overtime as soon as you hit 40 hours on Thursday...     looks like you will treat yourself to a good case of Mad Elf or some other tasty beverage with all the extra overtime pay.

I hope this helps.


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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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