Q. Should we pay for travel time if the employee's drive from home to the first job site is a very long distance (example: Los Angeles to San Diego)? —L.S., California
A. The answer to your question usually hinges on the employee's point of departure. If your employee leaves directly from his/her home and drives directly to the first job site (without making any stops), such travel time is noncompensable, even if it takes several hours.
On the other hand, employees must be paid for travel time after they make business-related stops along the way, such as stopping at your facility to pick up a company vehicle. Of course, you can still pay for travel time even if the law doesn't require you to do so. Many employers do so to remain competitive and avoid employee morale problems.