When to pay travel time for non-exempt employees?
Q&AWage and Hour
Q: We’re sending a non-exempt employee to the East Coast for training. Do we have to pay her for all that time spent flying and traveling to the destination?
A: Under federal wage and hour law, if you are sending a non-exempt employee out of town and the employee will be away overnight, then you’ll have to pay for time spent in transit (whether in a plane, car, etc.) to the extent that this time corresponds with the employee’s regular hours of work. This is also true for hours spent traveling on regular days off (e.g. Saturday/Sunday) which correspond with the regular work hours. For example, if the employee typically works 9:00 – 5:00, Monday through Friday, you would have to pay for Saturday travel that occurs between the hours of 9:00 – 5:00. Keep in mind that state law may have additional requirements. For instance, California requires pay for all hours of travel, even if outside the regular work schedule. The rules on compensating non-exempt employees can get complicated, so it’s best to review specific situations with an attorney to make sure you’re applying the right standard.