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Hodges & Foty, LLP > Overtime & Unpaid Wages  > Does My Employer Have to Pay for Travel Time?

Does My Employer Have to Pay for Travel Time?

Legally reviewed by David W.Hodges and Don J. Foty

In today’s fast-paced work environment, the lines between personal time and work time can often become blurred, especially when it comes to work related travel. For many employees, understanding the nuances of when travel must be paid for by an employer could have important consequences. This is where the question arises: when is your employer obligated to pay for travel time? 

Navigating the complexities of this issue requires not only an understanding of the relevant labor laws but also an awareness of one’s rights as an employee. At Hodges & Foty, LLP, we recognize the significance of this issue for many workers. Our goal is to offer insights that empower employees to understand their rights and for employers to recognize their obligations. To see how we can best be of service to you today, please use our contact form or call (713) 523-0001.

When Should Your Employer Pay for Travel Time? 

The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that governs the payment of wages to employees. There are different types of travel that employees may engage, which may or may not be compensable under the law: (1) home to work travel, (2) travel between job sites after the workday begins, and (3) travel away from home. 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, normal home to work travel is generally not compensable.  That means if an employee is required to drive from home in the morning to work and then travel that same day back home, the employee will not be entitled to compensation for that home to work or work to home commute. The general rule is found in 29 C.F.R. 785.35, which provides that “normal travel from home to work is not work time”. 

However, if the workday has begun for the employee and the employee is required to travel from one job site to another job site to perform work, the employee is generally entitled to compensation for that travel time. Time spent traveling between worksites during a workday is compensable under 29 C.F.R. 785.38. For example, if a worker reports to the main office to start the day and is then told to report to another job site, all time spent traveling to that worksite and back again to the main office will be paid. Some workers normally report to a number of jobsites each day as part of their duties; all such time is compensable. If the worker does not have to report back to the main office after finishing at the last jobsite, but instead returns directly home, the time spent returning home is not compensable.

Finally, if the employee is required to travel away from home for work, that travel may be compensable if it cuts across the normal workday for the employee.  29 C.F.R. 785.39 states that “travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday. The employee is simply substituting travel for other duties.” However, if the employee travels as a passenger outside normal working hours, the time is not compensable.

How a Dedicated Attorney Can Help Your Case

A dedicated attorney from Hodges & Foty, LLP can play a crucial role in navigating the complexities of employment law. With an in-depth knowledge of both federal and state-specific labor laws, we can provide invaluable guidance on the nuances of these regulations. Our team can assess your unique situation, taking into account the specific details of your employment and travel requirements. This personalized approach ensures your unique case is evaluated accurately, considering all relevant legal precedents and statutes.

In addition, we are here to guide you through the process of drafting and submitting any necessary legal documents, representing your interests in hearings or meetings, and providing clear, professional communication with all parties involved, including your employer. 

Underpaid or Missing Wages? Schedule a Consultation Today

Navigating the intricacies of employment law requires expert legal guidance. If you are a worker in Texas grappling with uncertainty over travel time compensation, it is crucial to seek prompt and knowledgeable legal support. At Hodges & Foty, LLP, we are uniquely equipped to address such concerns, dedicating our expertise to ensure that your rights are upheld and that you are compensated fairly for all aspects of your work.

We understand the nuances of these cases and have a consistent record of achieving positive outcomes for our clients. Whether it is a question of travel time compensation or other wage-related issues, our attorneys are prepared to offer robust representation and insightful legal strategies. If you suspect that your employer may not be complying with the legal standards for travel time pay, do not delay in reaching out to us. Contact us at (713) 523-0001 or through our contact form to explore your options today.

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