Is travel time to and from a work location a part of your work day or should you get paid extra for it?

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Is travel time to and from a work location a part of your work day or should you get paid extra for it?

Government contractor, salary/non-exempt. Travel required and live out of hotels. Was wondering when your work day starts (i.e. an 1.25 hours of travel time to and from work site). Company says work day does not start until we arrive at the work site.

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This area can be very complex, so you need to check with an employment attorney who can evaluate all the specifics, which includes both how you travel (e.g. the rules can be different for car vs. plane travel) and the exact hours (i.e. time of day/night) traveled. The short answer is that it is often the case that time spent on business travel, if (1) it is mandated by the company; and (2) is not both during same hours as a worker's regular commute to/from the office as well as being longer than the regular commute; will often be work hours for which the employee must paid. (What (2) means is this: say you normally drive 30 min. to/from work each day. If intead you drive 30 min. to a job site in the morning; 30 min. to the office during the work day--so it's clearly part of your job; and 30 min. back home, that typically would not be compensible since you're not doing any traveling that materially different that what you ordinarily do to get to/from work.)

However, again, this is a very fact-specific area, so if you're concerned, you need to consult with an attorney.


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