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How do we pay hourly staff for out-of-town travel?

by on
in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Q. I need to send a nonexempt employee to training for two days out of town. We’ll pay his mileage, hotel, meals and training costs. We plan to pay him for a normal eight-hour workday for both days (the class is eight hours per day). Do we have to pay for off-duty hours since the employee needs to stay at the training venue? — R.O., Texas

A. It depends on whether the employee is engaged in activities related to training or work during the off-duty hours. An employer is not required to count training as working time when:

  1. it is outside normal hours
  2. is voluntary
  3. is not job related
  4. no other work is concurrently performed.  

In this case, the employee should be paid for off-duty hours in which he is engaged in activities related to the training or work. The employee should not be paid for off-duty hours if he is simply staying in the hotel room and not engaged in activities related to the training or work.

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