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Do Companies Need to Pay Employees for Travel Time?

flsa travel time Apr 11, 2022

Do you have employees who travel for work? If so, it is important to make sure you are following all the rules regarding when you must pay them for travel time. Here are some situations when employees may need to be paid depending on the circumstances:

  1. Weekend travel
  2. Out of state travel, after “work hours”
  3. Overnight travel
  4. Sleep time when traveling as a passenger 
  5. Traveling to different worksites throughout the day

Make sure you know when you are required to pay employees during on-call time, travel time and time spent not working when traveling between worksites. Here are the rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Check your state and local rules, as they may have additional restrictions.

Waiting Time: Do you have employees who are waiting between the time the actual work is to be performed? (Think firefighter who is playing cards while waiting for the alarm to sound, or employee waiting for the next scheduled appointment to begin.) These employees must typically be paid during the waiting time.

On Call Employee: An employee who is required to remain on call on the company property is working and must be paid. However, an employee who is required to remain on call at home or somewhere else with less restrictions is not working, and in most cases, doesn’t have to be paid.

Travel Time: Whether or not an employee is “working” and is required to be paid during travel time depends on the type of travel involved. 

 - Typical Home to Work Travel: This is not work = no pay 

 - Home to Work in Another City (one day): time spend traveling to the other city is          work time = pay for travel required

 - Travel Between Worksites: This is work = pay for travel is required

 - Travel Requiring an Overnight Stay: (during work hours, regardless of the day): Pay for Travel

 - Travel Requiring an Overnight Stay: (outside of work hours, regardless of the day): No pay Required

Keep in mind that any time an employee is working while traveling, she must be paid- this includes time spent working during travel as a passenger, that might otherwise not be compensable. For example, if Jane normally works M-F, from 8:30am- 5pm. She is traveling by plane on Sunday between 3pm -8pm. Jane works on a presentation during her flight until 6:30pm, so her employer would need to pay her for the time spent working.

If you found this information to be helpful, please tell a colleague to subscribe to our newsletter, listen to The Employment Experience Podcast, and follow Karly Wannos, Esq., on Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn, or join our private Facebook Community for HR.

LETS WORK TOGETHER: Have questions? Florida businesses with employees can schedule a consultation here.

Do't have the time or budget to consult one-on-one? Check out my Employment Law Training for HR and customizable Legal Contract Templates for businesses. 




. For informational purposes only. This information does not constitute an attorney client relationship and is not legal advise. Consult with an employment lawyer in your jurisdiction before making any important business decisions.

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