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To charge or not to charge for mileage, minimum hour rates
Thread poster: Adriana Johnston
Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 24, 2008

Hello,

For those of you who work as subcontractors for an agency and travel to and fro a Doctor's office or court. Do you charge for mieage seperately or is it already included in the interpreter fee. Which way is better. If you do charge for mileage, do you go by the U.SA standard rate?

Also, I am not sure how the minimum hours are calculated. For example if you are locked in a one and half hour minimum and you get paid $35, how do you charge after the hour and a half has passed?

Thank yall!!!

[Editado a las 2008-03-24 16:03]

[Editado a las 2008-03-24 16:04]


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:38
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Ask the agency Mar 25, 2008

This is the sort of thing you should straighten out with the agency before you agree to do your first job for them. Unless this has specifically been agreed, you are in no position to bill the doctor or court for mileage. If you are going to charge these things, it needs to be established:

a) mileage from where? Your home? Your last assignment? The agency's office?

b) When do the hours start? When you leave your house? When you get there? When the doctor is ready to see you?

If you've already done one or more jobs for them, ask them. If you don't like the answers, consider telling them that your policy will be different in the future. But bear in mind that if they don't like your policy, they may not give you any assignments.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Also ask colleagues Mar 25, 2008

Ask colleagues in your area what local practices are, but if they are not too favorable to you, then you should all consider demanding more or going into another line of business.

To start, $35 for an hour and a half minimum is miserable.

If they are also not going to pay both travel time (at a decent rate) and mileage, that is doubly miserable, especially if you may have to cover a large area with heavy traffic and difficult parking.

There should be a standard rate set for over minimum, such as so much per 15 minute or 30 minute increment.

There should be a fee paid to you for cancellations, because you can book something, turn down other jobs then be left with... zilch.

You have to remember too, even if you do one minimum job in the AM and another in the PM all five days of the week (unlikely), then you will be making the princely sum of $350 per week. Might as well be working at Mickey D's.


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Alp Berker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:38
Turkish to English
+ ...
Getting shortchanged here Mar 25, 2008

I agree with Henry, you are definitely getting shortchanged. Regardless of your language pairs, for this type of work (traveling to interpret) you should get more than $35 for an hour and half. This type of interpretation is difficult since it requires your concentration for an extended period of time, and the fact that you need to take into account parking and other logistics (food, etc.)
As a rule of thumb, I would charge about half for travel time. If you are getting paid $60/hr you should be getting $30/hr for your commute. Gas is figured in separately (and at over $3 gallon, this can be significant!) 50 cents a mile is what I was compensated recently, and this covered my gas with no problem.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not half, all! Mar 25, 2008

The only thing I disagree with, Alp, is "half" for travel time. I think it should be full rate. Why half? If you were not on the road fighting traffic, you could be using that time to make your full rate.

A lot of people would like to chisel you with that (well, why should we pay you $65 an hour for driving?), but I would not buy it.


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Alp Berker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:38
Turkish to English
+ ...
I see your point Henry Mar 25, 2008

Hi Henry,
I see your point about time being valuable. All the jobs I do have a good hourly rate, so half generally isn't a problem for me unless it's a long drive, and then it ends up being a flight anyway. For a long drive I would go with the full rate, I agree with you on that due to the excessive loss of time. I tend to look at the job overall and make sure I am compensated accordingly, so as long I have my expenses and time covered reasonably, I don't worry about it.
thanks for your comments.
Alp


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