Do you pay your employees to travel between work sites? Let’s talk before the Department of Labor knocks on your door.

The U.S. Department of Labor requires employers to pay for travel time. The DOL’s website says,

Time spent traveling during normal work hours is considered compensable work time.”

U.S. Department of Labor

Travel time is a serious matter, and disgruntled employees are suing companies for failure to comply. Most service-based businesses have hourly employees who work at multiple sites each day. The easiest way to comply with the travel time laws is to pay your employees from when they start their days to when they end. Easy? Yes. Best practice? No.

Let’s establish the fact you should pay your hourly employees for travel between job sites. What’s the best way to track travel time? Steer your company towards best business practices with our employee time clock app and our travel time tracker.

3 Reasons Tracking Travel Time is the Best Business Practice

1 – All the time between job sites shouldn’t be paid

Your employees eat meals, buy lotto tickets, and pick up laundry between job sites. You don’t want to pay for this personal time. Travel Manager is integrated with Google Maps ™ and automatically creates a travel time card when your employee clocks out of one job and into a different one. We track the actual time your employee took, and Google Maps ™ estimates the time it should take. Set your default to pay the Google estimate, and don’t sweat the stops at the convenience store.

2 – All the time at each job should be tracked

When employees clock in to start their shifts and out to end them and nothing in between, there’s so much you don’t know. For instance, how much time did your employees spend at each job site? The time worked at each job site should be tracked for proper job costing. Otherwise, how do you know if you’re making money on each contract? When you have multiple jobs, you need to track labor costs at each one to know the winners and losers.

You might also discover an employee works an hour at a job, and you know it’s always a 2-hour clean. You need employees to clock in and clock out at each job to prevent quality control issues.

3 – All the time between jobs should be tracked

Yes, paying for travel time is a federal law, but there are good business reasons to track travel time.

  • Your employee reports 5 hours of work every evening, but you don’t know you’re paying 2 hours between jobs. Travel Manager could reveal that travel time is closer to an hour and you’re wasting an hour of pay.
  • Your employee drives 30 minutes each night to a job site or about 10 hours a month. The drive time is legitimate, but are you billing your customer for it? If not, that’s $120-200 off your bottom line. Travel Manager can apply travel time to the next job for accurate job costing and invoicing.
  • Your employee drives 30 minutes to a job for a one-hour clean. Is the job contract worth your time, or can you find another employee with a shorter distance to the job?
  • Your employees are paid a decent wage for work, but did you know you can pay a lower rate for travel time? You can as long as the lower wage meets minimum wage requirements and you have accurate tracking of work and travel time. Our travel time tracker breaks out work time and travel time to make paying different rates a breeze.

Save Time, Save Money, Stay Out of Trouble with Uncle Sam

Your best solution to the travel time issue is our employee time clock system. Employees clock in and out at each job location, and our system automatically creates travel time records. Pay the actual time between jobs or use Google MapsTM estimates. Use our job reports to analyze the time spent on the job against the time driving between jobs. Travel Manager also captures mileage.

Let us help you avoid this major pitfall with travel time. Ensure compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor, get accurate time with great job reporting, save money and stay focused on growing your business.

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Dennis Brady
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