April 18, 2021

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Travel Finishes First

DOL: Journey Time Compensation Not Essential for Break up Staff |

4 min read

The U.S. Office of Labor has issued new assistance that companies are not essential to fork out travel time to employees who decide on to get the job done remotely for part of the day.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion Dec. 31 on irrespective of whether an employee who functions aspect of the day from home and section of the day in the workplace has to be compensated for journey time.

An employer questioned irrespective of whether an staff who chooses to break up time in between telework and the business office when finishing particular tasks in involving should be compensated for specified travel time.  

The employer introduced two examples, the two involving an personnel who commutes a person hour to the place of work, functions Monday by Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm, and does no work for the duration of the commute.

In the first case, the personnel has a father or mother-trainer conference at college from 1:30 to 2:15 pm, and has permission to complete the change from house.

The worker leaves the office at 1 pm for a 50 percent-hour generate to the faculty, fulfills with the teacher for 45 minutes, then drives dwelling for 30 minutes.

‘Not Compensable’

The employer asks if travel compensation is warranted if the worker:

  • Right away resumes doing the job upon arriving dwelling
  • Spends an hour executing particular responsibilities then resumes doing work
  • Spends two hrs undertaking private tasks ahead of working
  • Spends an hour managing personalized errands, goes property to shell out an hour on own duties, then resumes working

“We conclude that the time the staff spends in these eventualities is not compensable,” DOL administrator Cheryl Stanton wrote.

Doctor’s Appointment

In the next situation, the employee has a doctor’s appointment from 8:30 to 9:15 am, with a 45-minute push from home to the medical professional, then a 15-moment generate from the medical doctor to get the job done.

The personnel works an hour from dwelling between 5 and 6 am, leaves for the doctor’s business at 7:45 am, then comes at get the job done at 9:30 am.

The employer asks:

  • Is the employee’s one particular hour of vacation time from property to the doctor, then from the medical doctor to function, compensable?
  • Is the employee’s commute time from place of work to household, wherever the get the job done working day commenced, compensable?

Stanton stated no.

“An personnel does not need to have to be compensated for hrs that she is off duty—that is, intervals when she is fully relieved from obligations and that are extensive plenty of to empower her to correctly use the time for her own purposes,” Stanton wrote.

“Additionally, time an personnel spends in ordinary commuting or normal journey from dwelling to perform and vice versa—that is, vacation from house to do the job in advance of the common workday and journey from perform to dwelling at the conclusion of the workday—is particularly excluded from compensable several hours.”

Constant Workday Theory

Underneath the steady workday doctrine theory, the time amongst the commence and conclusion of the workday, when an employee performs his or her principal responsibilities, is thought of compensable.

Travel time involving dwelling and function is not compensable.

Vacation between worksites throughout the workday, nonetheless, is compensable, Stanton mentioned, citing federal regulation and scenario legislation.

Vacation among worksites through the workday is compensable.

“When an worker chooses to accomplish some get the job done ahead of touring to the office environment or chooses to carry out work at property right after leaving the business, and in possibly situation has adequate time in among her telework and business office get the job done periods to use effectively for her possess uses, the time she spends traveling in between dwelling and place of work is not compensable,” she wrote.

This applies similarly to staff who need to finish a minor task—such as synching a gadget or uploading information—after returning property from operate. 

Pre-Calculated Time beyond regulation

Stanton also furnished a separate viewpoint on payment for are living-in caregivers who ordinarily do the job a 5-day, 120-hour 7 days.

The need for at-property care has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, as people susceptible to the virus need caregivers to keep on being in their households to lessen contagion challenges.

Mainly because personalized hours set apart for these staff for sleeping or taking in may well be interrupted primarily based on the client’s requires, function hrs differ and are unpredictable from 7 days to week.

As a end result, companies usually pre-calculate compensable hrs, including overtime hrs, for the employee, paying time beyond regulation for predicted hrs about 40 in a week, and paying added overtime for hrs essentially labored in extra of the predetermined hrs.

U.S. labor legislation permits an employer to exclude excess compensation delivered by a high quality price.

One particular this kind of employer questioned no matter if these pre-calculated overtime payments could be excluded from the standard level, and whether they could be credited toward any time beyond regulation owed.

“Yes to each,” Stanton wrote.

“Provided there is an settlement or understanding (composed or unwritten) between the employer and the staff,” she explained, U.S. labor regulation “permits an employer to exclude added compensation presented by a top quality level paid for certain several hours labored in any day or work 7 days for the reason that these kinds of hrs are in excess of 8 on a workday or 40 in a operate week.”

She added that the regulation “further permits the employer to credit history any payments excludable underneath [federal labor law] toward time beyond regulation pay out owed under the Truthful Labor Specifications Act.”


For additional information and facts, get hold of CBIA’s Diane Mokriski (860.244.1900) | @HRHotline.

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