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Compensable Time - The Maryland Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards

What compensation am I entitled to?

Definition:
All of the time an employer requires an employee to be at work is compensable time, whether or not the employee is officially "on the clock". This includes time driving in the employer's truck from worksite to worksite during the day. It also includes time driving from the shop to the work site at the beginning of the day and returning to the shop at the end of the day, if the employer requires the employee to report to and return to the shop.

Some examples of illegal practices include the following:

Example 1: An employee is required to report to work at 7:30, but is not paid for the time before punch-in at 8:00.

Example 2: An employee is not paid for the time she is required to clean-up the employer's shop at the end of the day.

Note: A tipped employee who spends more than 20 percent of the employee’s work time performing non-tip producing duties directly related to their tipped occupation shall be paid by the employer at least the minimum wage for that time. (Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) 09.12.41.19.)

Trainings and Meetings:
Generally, an employee must be paid for training time and meetings -- whether held during regular work hours or not -- if attendance at a training or meeting is required and not "voluntary". Trainings and meetings are not "voluntary" if it is generally known, or the employee reasonably believes, that non-attendance will result in some negative effect on employment.\

What is Non-Compensable?

Commuting to Work:
Time spent traveling or "commuting" to work is non-compensable (not payable). This is true, even where an employee must drive a long distance. However, as stated in the previous section, once reporting to work (such as to the employer's shop or office, or any other place an employer requires an employee to report), the employee must then be paid for the time necessary to travel to a work site or to accomplish some other mission the em-ployer assigns.

Temporary Closures, Snow Days, etc.:
An employer may temporarily close its business for any reason and for any length of time without offering special compensation to non-exempt employees who cannot go to work as a result. This is commonly true, for example, during snow emergencies. However, for salaried employees who fit the definition of Executive, Administrative or Professional and who are ready, willing, and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available. Doing so will remove this category of employee from exempt salary status, entitling the worker to payment of overtime.