I started my day at home by loading up the equipment that I needed for the day (my home acted as a warehouse/storage facility for company owned equipment. Replacement equipment was shipped there) then I drove my personal vehicle to multiple job sites (customers homes. Always different) and the distance from home to the first job ranged from 10 to 200 miles. I carried company equipment and was often taking work phone calls or having to stop to answer emails yet my employer deducted from my mileage an assumed twice a day commute of 45 miles (90 miles total) then paid my mileage using a reduced calculation less than the IRS minimum. I was a commissioned based (more piece rate though) employee and I did not receive an hourly wage nor was I separately paid for the non productive time. Should I have been compensated for my time driving between all job sites including first and last as well as an hourly rate the entire time? I would like to file a claim with the DLSE but when I requested my employment records my mileage logs (I was tracked using an app)were not given to me. Should I contact my former employer again to request the records and tip them off to a coming suit or file first.
A normal daily commute is not compensable. However, you did not have a normal daily commute. Each day was a different trip. In such a situation the employer is not allowed to simply designate a mileage limit to simulate a normal daily commute. Your employer owes you money.
As to contacting the company, that is an issue that needs to be analyzed after understanding dynamics not included in your post. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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Your question poses a lot of very interesting questions, many of which could lead to litigation (if you want it to). Already, you have at least one cause of action for the failure to provide your employee file. For one, in addition to your mileage issues (which I agree with Mr. Pedersen, should probably be reimbursable), you also have an issue regarding being paid commissions, and non-productive time. From your description, it sounds like you were delivering equipment, not engaged in sales. Anyway, contact an employment attorney at your earliest convenience.
While I am an attorney with over fifteen years of experience, until we sign a retainer agreement, I am not YOUR attorney. My postings are meant for informational purposes only, and DO NOT constitute legal advice, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship between us. As such, the question, my answer, and any comments left to my answer, are not protected by attorney-client privilege. Also, keep in mind that all legal claims have relevant statute of limitations, some of which can be very short. So, if you believe you need to hire an attorney, and need legal advice, seek out legal representation as soon as possible.
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