Travel time is one of the most hotly contested issues under the FLSA. This week we will test your employment IQ on compensable travel time.
Scenario. Timmy Tee is employed as a non-exempt public relations coordinator for Go Gators Enterprises. Timmy’s regular work schedule is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Go Gators Enterprises requires Timmy to attend a two-day marketing conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Timmy travels by bus on Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Timmy returns home by bus on Saturday, traveling from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A. Go Gators Enterprises must pay for all of Timmy’s travel time, since it required him to attend the marketing conference.
B. Go Gators Enterprises must pay for the Wednesday bus trip, since these hours cut across Timmy’s normal work hours.
C. Go Gators Enterprises must pay for the Saturday travel between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., the travel time which cuts across Timmy’s normal work hours. This is required even though Timmy does not normally work on Saturdays.
D. Both B and C are correct.
The correct answer is D. Whether or not Timmy’s travel time is compensable depends on whether it falls outside normal working hours. If the travel occurs outside normal working hours, then it is typically not compensable. If occurs during normal working hours (even if it is from 8-5 on a weekend) it is considered compensable time.
HR Takeaway: A number of different factors can change the analysis, including whether the travel is during working hours, whether the employee is the driver or the passenger, and whether the employee is required to perform work during travel. HR professionals should take great care to ensure all travel time situations are carefully reviewed, particularly before making the determination that travel time is not compensable.