Should nonexempt employees be paid for travel time?
Traveling is a normal part of an everyday job, requiring employees in Texas to travel from job site to job site as they do their work. Often times, this could cause issues where the employee is not compensated fully for the hours they’ve worked as a result of them traveling during work hours.
Travel time as part of commuting
As per 29 C.F.R. § 785.35, a commute to and from home is not considered part of work time. This is considered ordinary home to work travel which is a normal incident of employment.
However, if you’re called back for an emergency situation after going back home from work, this could count as work time. This includes work-related emergencies such as a plumber having to deal with a water pipe bursting where time traveling back to work to fix the issue could be compensated.
Travel time in between work sites
While travel time outside of your job schedule is not considered work time, travel to and from different job sites during the workday could be eligible to be paid as hours worked.
For example, if you are required to go to a company office to pick up a company truck before heading to your assigned job site, travel time in between the office to the work site would count as work time. This also includes situations where you are required to receive instructions or pick up materials before heading to your job site.
Traveling away from home
Often times you might be required to attend a seminar, training session, or leave the city as part of your job. In this situation, a nonexempt employee could be required to be compensated for time spent traveling to these one-day assignments, as well as time during the seminar, training session, or work assignment.
Travel away from home overnight is considered travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly considered “work time” when it cuts across your workday. This is not only for hours worked on regular or typical working day during normal working hours but may also apply on nonworking days.
Travel time could result in unpaid overtime
While there are various guidelines outlining what qualifies as travel time, employers could take advantage and deny compensation for employees. Unpaid overtime could occur as a result, with employees being improperly compensated for their time during work hours.
What seems like a small amount of time could accumulate and result in you spending multiple hours doing work related activities without compensation, which could also affect your wellbeing.
Contact attorney Glenn D. Levy today to learn more about the steps that you can take to receive the compensation that you are owed.