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Travel time: Must we begin paying employees when they leave their homes?

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. Some of our employees are required to drive our company vehicles from home to various work sites in our area. Are we required to pay them starting from the time they leave home?

A. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must pay employees for time spent traveling during normal work hours. Generally, however, time spent commuting is not considered work time.

Specifically, time an employee spends traveling from home to work in an employer-provided vehicle or in activities that are incidental to the use of the vehicle for commuting, generally is not “hours worked.” Therefore, it does not have to be paid.

This provision applies only if the travel is within the normal commuting area for the employer’s business and the use of the vehicle is subject to an agreement between the employer and the employee or the employee’s representative.

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