What Travel Time Counts Towards Overtime Pay
Whether or not time spent traveling is hours worked and must be paid depends on the kind of travel involved.
Home-To-Work and Return Travel
When you travel from home before your regular workday and return home at the end of the workday you are engaged in ordinary home-to-work travel. This is true whether you work at a fixed location or at different job sites. Ordinary home-to-work and return travel time is probably not hours worked. If your employer requires you to perform some work-related duties while traveling between your home and the work site, the time may be hours worked.
If your employer requires you to perform any work-related duties while you are traveling to or returning from the work site, then the time you spend traveling to and from the job site is probably hours worked; regardless of whose vehicle you are using.
When traveling to the work site, all of the time spent traveling from the beginning of your first work-related duty to the work site would be hours worked. For example, if it normally takes you 30 minutes to travel to the work site, but you have to make a work- related stop, which is 10 minutes from your home, all of the time from that stop until you arrive at the work site is hours worked.
The same would be true of the travel from the work site to home. All of the time from the work site to the point where you finish your last work related duty would be hours worked. For example, if you are directed by your employer to provide transportation home for other workers, the time you spend taking the employees from the work site to their homes is hours worked. The time you spend going to your own home from that of the last passenger would not be hours worked, but would be ordinary home-to-work travel.
Home-to-work and Return, Emergency Situations.
There may be instances when travel from home-to-work is hours worked. For example, if you have gone home after completing your day’s work and are subsequently called to travel a substantial distance to perform an emergency job at one of your employer’s customers’ work sites, all time spent on such travel is hours worked.
Home-to-work and Return, Special One-day Assignment.
Different rules apply when you regularly work at a fixed location in one city and are given a special one-day assignment in another city.
For example, you work in Washington, D.C. with regular working hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you are given a special assignment in New York City. You are instructed to leave Washington, D. C. at 8 a.m. You arrive in New York City at 12 noon, ready for work. The special assignment is completed at 3 p.m., and you arrive back in Washington, D.C. at 7 p.m.
Such travel cannot be regarded as ordinary home-to-work travel. It was performed for the employer’s benefit and at his or her special request to meet the special needs of the company and the assignment. This type of travel would qualify as a necessary part of the principal activity which you were hired to perform on this particular workday.
However, all the time involved need not be considered as hours worked. The travel between your home and the airport or other public transportation terminal is normal home-to-work travel and return and is not hours worked. The balance of the time between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. is hours worked, with the exception of meal periods.
If you are driving to complete your special assignment the part of the travel occurring during your regular hours of work is probably hours worked.
If you are a passenger and some part of your travel occurs outside of regular working hours, the travel time outside of your normal hours is probably not hours worked. If you are driving, or otherwise working while traveling, click on the underlined text for more information.
Questions? Contact an overtime pay lawyer at Werman Salas P.C.