The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that provides specific protections to employees. Although the FLSA establishes standards related to compensation, recordkeeping and work hours, this area of law has been subject to an increasing number of legal disputes. Some employers misunderstand the law and fail to follow the FLSA due to a good faith misunderstanding. Other employers choose not to provide the protections of the FLSA in order to save money at their employees' expense. Regardless of an employer's intentions, most employers are legally obligated to compensate their employees according to the FLSA standards.
The issue of travel time is sometimes confusing, especially for workers who are frequently required to travel for work. The lawyers at Mays & Kerr are knowledgeable about FLSA standards. We routinely help both employers and employees understand their rights and navigate the complexities of this area of law.Travel during Work Hours
The FLSA requires employers to compensate employees for travel time that takes place during normal working hours. Travel time includes travel to meetings, trainings or between job sites. In general, travel time begins when the employee leaves the workplace to travel to a designated location to perform a job function. Commute times are not included in travel time calculations.Travel Away from Home
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor created separate protections for employees who must make overnight trips for work, or "travel away from home," for business purposes. The travel away from home is paid work time as long as the time working coincides with the employee's normal work day. An employee must be compensated not only for the hours he worked on regular workdays, but also for hours worked on days that the employee would normally have off. For an employee whose regular schedule is 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, any travel time between these hours, even on weekends, must be compensated. However, if the travel time occurs outside of this range, say from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the employee would not need to be paid for those hours.
If the employee is required to drive for work rather than ride as a passenger in a car, train, plane or bus, the employee must be paid for travel time, regardless of when the travel occurs. If the employee is simply riding as a passenger with no other work responsibilities, the employee does not need to be paid if the travel occurs outside of normal working hours.
Although the working hours are paid, the Wage and Hour Division does not require an employer to pay for travel time that occurs outside of regular work hours.Contact Our Experienced Attorneys Regarding Job-Related Travel Time
At the law firm of Mays & Kerr, our hard-working lawyers are committed to helping clients understand their legal rights. If you are involved in a dispute or have a question regarding job-related travel time, we can help you understand the FLSA compensation requirements. We assist workers and employers with their workplace disputes. Because each case receives attention from our entire attorney team, our clients receive the benefits of collaborative problem-solving to obtain the best legal outcome for their situation.