HR recordkeeping: Dealing with employee’s travel time

Mon May 27 2019

It’s the law! Hourly employees must be paid at least minimum wage for "travel time." Labor law states that employees who travel for work purposes must be paid at least minimum wage when traveling for business purposes. While the employer can certainly pay the employee’s regular rate of pay for travel purposes, the law requires that the employer pay “at least” minimum wage.

Travel time does NOT include travel to or from work. The Fair Labor Standards Act states that employees that travel from one worksite to another are entitled to compensation. When the travel situation isn’t an ordinary home-to-work commute, the time your employee spends traveling is compensable. Traveling to other work locations qualifies in addition to traveling during regular working hours and emergency call-backs. So, if you send your employee out to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, or to Staples to pick up supplies, make sure this time is logged under “travel time”, and paid for.

Make sure travel time is logged and paid during your regular payroll cycle. Make sure your employees’ travel time hours are accurately logged and calculated in time for the payroll cycle. Doing so can determine whether they have worked overtime during a certain pay period. Effective recordkeeping can help management avoid wage and compensation issues down the road.

Have employees fill out timesheets that include time spent traveling. Make sure your employees take note of their travel time and record the hours on their timesheet to ensure they receive their appropriate earnings. Remind your employees about what constitutes “travel time” and what is considered compensable.

We can help make sure you have the necessary documentation to stay compliant. Travel time compensation can be tricky and is based on a case-by-case basis; we’re here to help make sure you take the appropriate steps to ensure you stay compliant with the never-ending employment laws. A thorough and clear compensation understanding between you and your employees can provide clarification on travel time pay.