Travel time in CA - prevailing wage

Discussion in 'Employment' started by CAtim, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. CAtim

    CAtim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    New to this site - first post. 17 years at current company, 15 of those in an executive position wearing many hats - HR+IT+COO+PR you get the idea. We are a $4M landscape company in California with 48 employees, and if you do much Prevailing Wage work you're probably familiar with the increase of on-site compliance inspectors questioning your employees... So it's becoming all the more important to get things legit for us. We have revamped our travel time policies to adjust for new situations we're facing (out of town travel time etc).

    As I'm sure many will agree CA laws can be very frustrating to the 10% that seem to be doing things legit, while the 90% seem to just get away with not paying travel time, no OT for drive time, etc. etc.

    I have been challenged by our estimating team on changes we've recently had to make to accommodate situations presented by new jobs. Their challenge is, "Nobody does that! That's crazy! If we have to do that, we'll lose every one of these jobs in the future. It's not in the bids."

    The 'that' is paying for half drive time at prevailing wage for all miles >50 drive to the jobsite, whether in a personal or company vehicle. This is per requirements of PW Determination for Landscape Pipefitter and Landscape Tradesman-2.

    What I'd like to know is how many people out there actually do this? Are my estimators correct in saying "nobody does this" and that I just need to take it as a business risk, or is this something people really do?

    Anyone with any real experience in CA knows that with all the government departments, agencies, regulations, law changes, etc. there is no way anyone can completely proactively comply with everything (what I call overcompliance). It is customary to pretty much follow the rules for what is actively enforced. It is with that in mind that I ask, not to evade anything that is required and enforced.

    Thank you!
  2. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    YOu mean that normally you DON'T pay travel time?

    Here, you get paid your going wage BOTH ways. E.g. Guy working in the tar sands at Ft. McMurray, 7 days on, 7 off.

    He gets paid from the nominal take off time of the plane that takes him north to time he gets to his dorm.
    On the job he gets standard time for the first 8 hours a day -- which starts when he gets on the bus at his dorm to go to the site. Anything over 8 hours in a day is time and a half. Anything over 40 hours in a week is time and a half. Anything over 12 hours in a day, or 60 hours in a week is double time.
    And he gets paid for his time to fly home.

    More to the point: A carpenter working on a remote job draws his pay from the time he checks in at his boss's dispatch point to the time he gets back there. On a job that is an hour out of town you have to pay for 10 hours of wages to get 8 hours of work.

    If I hire a high school kid to help me plant trees, he's on wages from the time he arrives t my place, to the time he arrives back, -coffee breaks and lunch.

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