Imagine that you work at a warehouse, in the shipping and receiving department. Every day, you help to ship products from the warehouse to customers who ordered them online.
But your business has another location, and orders sometimes go through that warehouse. They still need to get to your location so that you can ship them out. Your boss asks you to start swinging by this is secondary location before you go to work so that you can pick up the orders for the day. Can they do this?
They can, but you still deserve to be paid
Your boss can certainly ask you to do this as part of your job, and many employees would have no problem with it. The issue arises if your boss doesn’t want to pay you for your time.
For instance, maybe they still start tracking your hours after you clock in when you get to the main warehouse. But this is unfair to you because you’ve already been working as you drove to the secondary location and made the pickup.
If your boss refuses to pay you for this time, it’s a form of wage theft and it is illegal. You deserve to be compensated for all the time that you put into your job, whether or not you’re specifically at the main location where you work or not. Your boss probably wants you to pick it up for free because you’d be driving in to work anyway, but they can’t exploit you because they’re asking you to put in time and effort for no compensation.
Understanding your rights is very important, as workers are often asked to do things like this and employers may not even understand that it’s illegal.