I just got placed through a staffing agency, in the state of California. I'm expected to drive to a client's location and pick up some equipment to use to work from home for the duration of the engagement. I was told I will not be reimbursed for gas for the trip, and was told not to bill for the travel time.
Per the staffing agency:
"The way we think of it is one would not normally charge their employer for the time it takes to get to and from work... We ask that you only bill for time worked."
To me, this seems like unpaid labor. This is not a commute, this is a necessary job function required by the client in order to perform the work. I refuse to perform unpaid labor on behalf of two profitable corporations.
How should I proceed? Bill for my time anyway? Ask for the equipment to be delivered to me? Is there an option I'm unaware of?
Edit: to clarify the relationships here, since some were asking. The "staffing agency" placed me with the "client." I will be a direct employee of the staffing agency, and will perform work for the "client"