When Workers Must be Paid for On-the-Job Travel

Employees who must travel to different work sites, or to different customer locations during the work day, generally must be paid for their travel time. But how employee travel time is calculated can be a bit complicated. In general, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act controls issues regarding wages and hours , and describes when employees must be paid for work-related travel. Here are some general guidelines: Travel During the Work Day in General If an employee’s job requires her to travel between different work sites or customer locations during a workday, the employee must generally be paid for her travel time. Under the FLSA, travel as part of an employee’s principal work activity is considered “hours worked.” This can include errands like running to the bank to deposit work-related funds, or driving to court to file paperwork. Travel by Plane, Train, or Boat In general, if an employee’s job requires her to travel by plane, train, or boat — to attend an out-of-town conference, for example — the actual time spent in transit must be compensated under the FLSA. However, an employee’s travel from her home to the transit terminal is generally not considered “hours worked.” Travel by Car If an employee’s job requires her to travel by car, the law is a bit more complicated. An employee-driver may be compensated for all of her time behind the wheel, but an employee-passenger may only get paid for travel time during normal work hours. Travel for Work-Related Emergencies Finally, if a situation arises that requires an employee to travel for work during a time she wasn’t scheduled to work, the employee must generally be paid for her work-related travel time. The U.S. Department of Labor has an interactive online tool to help determine when an employee should be paid for on-the-job travel time. You may also want to consult an attorney to make sure your actions don’t veer off-course. Related Resources: FLSA Hours Worked Advisor (U.S. Department of Labor) Getting Paid for Not Working (FindLaw) Browse Employment Law — Employer Lawyers by Location (FindLaw) Deduct Business Travel: Allowable Tax Deductions (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)

When Workers Must be Paid for On-the-Job Travel

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.