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Are Your Non-Exempt Employees Being Compensated Correctly for Travel Time?

Lexology (03/23/12) Jordan B. Schwartz

Whether a nonexempt employee’s travel time for business-related events must be compensated and constitutes overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act depends on certain factors. Travel time during normal work hours is considered work time, and because it is being substituted for the duties the employee would otherwise perform, he or she must be compensated. However, travel time outside of regular work hours does not have to be compensated; the law does require employees to be compensated for travel that occurs on weekends and other nonworking days, but only during the hours of the day they would be working if it was a weekday. Moreover, if the employee has already completed a 40-hour work week, the travel time should be considered overtime and compensated accordingly. The law includes layovers as travel time, but meal times can be deducted. These rules do not apply to the commute to and from the airport, train, or bus station, nor do they apply to everyday work commutes.