We all wish we could get back the time spent on our morning and evening commutes each day. It’s common knowledge that employees do not get compensated for their daily commutes, but are there other traveling scenarios for which employees should be paid?

In fact, there are a variety of situations where employers are required to pay their employees for travel time. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines these situations. We break them down below.

Regular Commute

When an employee commutes from home to work and back again, employers are not required to compensate them for this time. The ordinary home-to-work commute is considered a byproduct of any job and therefore is not an unusual situation that would need pay. An exception to this policy does exist. If an employee is called back to work after completing their workday, the employee is entitled to compensation.

Trips Between Job Sites

Some jobs require travel while working. For example, a janitorial service may have their employees pick up their supplies from the company’s warehouse and then travel to multiple off-site locations throughout the workday. After they arrive at the warehouse and begin their work, they are entitled to compensation for the travel time required to get from one job site to another.

In some instances, an employee may travel a long distance to a job site and return home within the same day. While the employer will compensate them for this travel time, they may be able to deduct the standard commute time of that employee if the employee does not first have to stop at their regular work site before traveling to the job site or stop on their way home.

Overnight Travel

When an employee travels overnight for work, their employer only has to pay for time spent traveling if done during regular work hours. For example, Katie typically works from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. If she is flying for work from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Katie will only be compensated from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

However, if Katie is working on a report while on her flight from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, she will be compensated beyond 5:00 PM. This is considered working time since the report is for Katie’s employer.

Any Work Time

It’s safe to assume that if an employee is performing work in or outside of their regular work schedule, they should be compensated by their employer. Here’s a more detailed look at the FLSA regulations.

Type of Travel Compensable Not Compensable
Ordinary home-to-work commute
Emergency home-to-work situation
One-day home-to-work commute to another city
Travel all in a day’s work
Driving required by the employer
Multiple-day travel during work hours
Multiple-day travel outside of work hours
Work performed while traveling

Chronotek and GPS

Chronotek makes it easy for employers to compensate their employees for on-the-job travel. Our exclusive time tracking software fully integrates with Google Maps™ to calculate the most accurate mileage maps possible for employees reimbursed for travel time or mileage between job locations.

As employees clock out of a jobsite and travel to the next, travel time cards and mileage reports are automatically created on the next clock in. This minimizes burdensome paperwork, mileage calculations, and the time-consuming process of constructing, approving, or denying travel time or mileage reimbursements. Our ingenious and intuitive software does everything for you by capturing your employees’ travel routes and constructing highly detailed maps! The daily trip map even tells the story of the employee stops between job locations.

Start your 30-day free trial now!

Latest posts by Eric Hill (see all)