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Abiding By the Going and Coming Rule

Abiding By the Going and Coming Rule

Understanding the Going and Coming Rule is critical for employers, especially when it comes to wage and hour laws. This rule states that an employee's time spent traveling from home to work and from work back to home does not count as compensable working time.

The application of this rule is complex and must take into account situations like paid meals, special errands, overtime, part-time employees, travel between job sites, and travel outside regular work hours. Employers should consult with experienced labor attorneys in order to ensure they are properly abiding by the Going and Coming Rule.

Doing so can help them avoid potentially costly investigations, penalties, or legal action from employees who feel their rights have been violated.

What Is the Going and Coming Rule?

The going and coming rule is a notion applicable to personal injury cases that states an injured person's injuries occurring on their way to work or from work are generally not covered by workers' compensation. To receive benefits, the injured party must show that their employer characterized the travel as part of their employment, either by explicitly requiring the employee to travel for business purposes or allowing them time off to cover their travel time back and forth to work.

When deciding which activities qualify as within the course of employment, courts often use the control test. In other words, they ask whether an employee's movements are being monitored by the employer while they commute in order to gauge if they are covered by worker’s compensation.

How Do Employers Abuse the Going and Coming Rule?

Employers often take advantage of the going and coming rule, which states that employers are not responsible for covering their employees while they are traveling to and from work, by not paying employees for travel time to job sites. This leaves workers out of pocket for their travel expenses even if the job requires them to travel long distances.

Additionally, some employers may push their workers to finish a task quicker than it would usually take in order to get back home as quickly as possible and keep the cost of wages down. This can put an undue burden on workers who have to rush through tasks or face sacrificing their free time to finish job-related activities.

Furthermore, those who have part-time jobs must commute from one place to another, sometimes spending hours commuting just so they can make enough money for a decent lifestyle; however, by taking advantage of the going and coming rule employers do not need to pay these employees for this necessary traveling time.

The only way that such practices could be stopped is through labor law reform which makes going and coming rules fairer, so workers are appropriately compensated and protected.

If you need help, our team at Biren Law Group is here for you.

Call our team at (310) 896-4345.