Does my boss have to pay me for the time I spend driving to and from a work event?

This depends on a few facts. If you went to work (or started working at home) before you left, and this was something that your boss required you to do (or even knew you were doing), then yes, you should be compensated for this drive time.

This is a rule called the “continuous work day”- once you start work, you can’t be required to go off the clock to do any work-related task. This doesn’t, of course, include strictly personal activities such as picking up your dry cleaning.

Also, if you leave home without starting work first for a meeting or event that requires a longer time than your regular commute, you must be paid for the extra time added to your commute but not for the time you would have spent in the car anyway.

The general rule for what constitutes “compensable time” is that employees must be paid for time that they spend in the service of the employer. Put differently, does the time spent benefit the employer? If so, and if you’re paid hourly, you should be paid for that time!

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