Travel Pay

HR Resource
January 7, 2013 — 2,410 views  
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Companies pay their employees for the amount of time spent working for them. This also applies to the time the employees spend traveling for the job directly. The normal daily commute between the workplace and home doesn’t count unless it is due to an emergency call by the company. This pay for travel time is called travel pay.

Who is Eligible for Travel Pay?

Travel Pay stems from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and so the employees who are exempt from this act are not eligible for this pay, because they are paid a salary and the way they spend their time is not important. For the non-exempt employees, the type of travel determines whether they are eligible for pay or not. If the employee is required to do a great amount of travel without prior notice, then he would be eligible for travel pay. Also if the employee is required to travel to different locations as part of the job, then some particular rules are applicable for the calculation of that employee’s travel pay.

Travel Pay Options to Consider

If the employee had returned home after the day’s work and is called back on an emergency basis to travel a considerable distance for the company’s work, then such an employee is eligible for travel pay under Section 785.36. But if the employee was given prior notice and the call was not made on an emergency basis, then the travel wouldn’t be eligible for pay.

If the employee needs to report to a usual workplace and then travel to another place to carry out his duties, then the company is liable to pay the employee for such travel. Similarly, if the employee is to return to the usual workplace after completing the assigned duties, and then go home, then the company is liable to pay for such travel as well.

If the employee is to travel between the assigned workplace and home, and not through the usual workplace, then the travel would be considered daily commute and the employee will not be eligible for travel pay. However, an exception to this rule is that if the commute time to the assigned workplace is considerably greater than that to the usual workplace of the employee, then the extra travel time is considered for travel pay.

If the employee is sent on a trip for the company, which keeps him away from home overnight, then the employee would be eligible for travel pay for the hours that fall within his normal working hours, be it on a workday or a non-workday. The hours travelled, which are not included within the normal working hours, can be exempted.

If the employee is to engage his skills during the travel, like preparing a presentation, then the travel pay would be offered at the normal rate at which the employee is paid. Otherwise, the travel pay rate can be a minimum wage. The employee should be informed of the rate before he commences the travel.

These options are to be considered only for the employees who are non-exempt from the FLSA. Also, apart from travel pay, if the total travel and work time exceeds the normal 40 hours a week, then the employee is also eligible for overtime pay according to the company’s overtime rules.

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