Driver-Rights-in-California-If-You-Cant-Go-Home-You-Should-be-Getting-Paid.jpg (2149×1159)Many delivery drivers and truck drivers are not being paid fairly. Here in the state of California, labor laws are extremely specific about when an employee should be getting paid and what time constitutes as on-work hours. However, each industry tries to define its worker’s hours in the most economically efficient (for the employer) way of doing things. 

In retail, employers try to use on-call and on-demand scheduling to keep workers on the hook while minimizing hours. In hospitality, employers often argue that tip-rate wages are due when the tip income is not sufficient. And for delivery and truck drivers, often employers try to enforce constant driving and then not pay for work time that isn’t spent on the road. This is not a fair way to calculate wages and often, it is illegal. Particularly in California where paid work-time is so clearly defined.

Getting Paid to Drive

The standard approach to paying drivers is paying them for time on the road. This sounds so simple to start with, until you consider the fact that it excludes all other aspects of the work. Truckers, for example, are paid by the mile which often excludes time they lose getting gas, stuck in traffic, or completing a delivery as the truck is unloaded or loaded back up again. Sound familiar?

Delivery drivers face a similar plight, with delivery businesses often looking for ways to deny their drivers pay for time they spend not on the road. But what about the time you spend preparing your vehicle each day, loading it with packages, or delivering those packages at the destination? Maybe you haul the boxes or maybe you’re just required to wait while another team handles the loading because the company has deemed it faster.  This is called detention time, the time that you are detained and not driving.

According to the drive-time-only pay policies, you’re not ‘working’ during this time and therefore don’t need to be paid. But not according to California labor laws. 

California On-Call Labor Laws

Delivery drivers certainly aren’t the first (and won’t be the last) to be subject to nit-picking ‘on the job’ pay policies. So it’s no surprise that California’s comprehensive labor laws already have a few terms that cover your situation. It’s often referred to on-call, callback, or standby time. It goes like this: An employer can hire someone to stand around waiting all day. Doormen aren’t paid by the door opening, they’re paid by the hour to stand by the door. And he must be paid, by law, for scheduled time spent by that door.

To the same extent, California holds that employees who are held on-call, to the point where they cannot take other jobs or schedule personal tasks while waiting to be called to work, are officially working and are owed hourly wages. They are being paid to wait. There are currently several active lawsuits addressing employers who have kept their staff on the line, unable to do other work, while officially claiming that they were not working and therefore have no right to pay. California sides with the on-call workers.

So what do you call being asked to sit in or stand by your truck while it is loaded? Or worse, not being paid while doing your own truck loading? A violation of California labor laws, that is what.

If You Can’t Go Home or Grab Lunch: Get Paid

Drivers of California, it is illegal for your employer to refuse to pay you for time that you’re not behind the wheel if your time is not your own. If you can’t head home or show up late while the truck is loaded, if you can’t grab lunch while your delivery recipients grab their own packages, then you are legally on the job. If your use of time is still dictated by your employer, you are on the job. And you deserve to be paid, even if your employer’s business model includes paying you to wait.

Being paid to wait is not against the law. Not being paid for time that is not your own is against the law. Here at Aiman-Smith and Marcy, our team is dedicated to defending the rights of workers in every industry against the facile pay-refusal of today’s employers. Whether you are being refused pay for load-up time or are being denied your rightful rest and meal breaks, contact us today. We can help.

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Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986