Q. Several of our employees will be required to travel to another state for a seminar. What’s the rule for compensatingwho take overnight business trips?
A. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor distinguishes between hours worked during normal working hours. Under federal law, an employee’s travel time is compensable if it occurs during his or her normal working hours (regardless of whether they occur on the employee’s normal working days). However, hours outside of normal working hours spent as a passenger are not compensable unless the employee spends that time working.
Accordingly, the WHD considers travel away from home (including travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight) as work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday.
Under federal law, travel time is not only hours worked on an employee’s regular working days and during his or her normal working hours. Travel time is also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. However, the WHD does not consider as work time the hours an employee spends in travel away from home outside of his or her regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus or automobile.