Almost all your employees travel for their job, whether it is to your office, to a jobsite, to make sales, etc. Therefore, it is important that as the employer, you understand what travel time is compensable – meaning, when must travel time be paid time and count toward overtime.
Travel between home and work is not compensable, as long as it is within the “normal commuting area.” This is true whether the employee works at a fixed location (e.g., office) or different jobsites. If you require employees to report at a meeting place to receive instructions or pick up tools, travel between the meeting place and the jobsite is compensable. Travel between jobsites during the workday is compensable. When determining if travel time is compensable, it makes no difference if the employee is driving a company vehicle or a personal vehicle.
There are many strategies for reducing the payroll cost of travel time. For instance, you can pay employees a lower payrate for drive time than worksite time. You can also institute a written policy establishing a broad scope of what is considered the employee’s “normal commuting area” and limiting paid travel time to drivers rather than passengers. Moreover, some of your employees (e.g., outside sales) may be exempt from certain wages laws and not entitled to paid travel time. It is important to consult with a labor and employment attorney to reduce your payroll expenses and protect against potential wage and hour liability.
Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. Regulations and laws may vary depending on your location. Consult with a licensed attorney in your area if you wish to obtain legal advice and/or counsel for a particular legal issue.
About the Author
Benjamin Briggs is an attorney in the Tampa office of Cotney Construction Law. He specializes in labor and employment matters.