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Terms in this set (66)

Travel Time
Travel time may be compensable worktime depending on the type of travel and its purpose. Most of the rules governing travel time are contained in the Portal-to-Portal Act and are applicable to employees covered by the FLSA (nonexempt employees).

Generally, the time an employee spends traveling from home to work and work to home is not worktime. A contract may require payment for home-to-work travel time, but the time is not considered hours worked for the purpose of calculating overtime unless it is specifically agreed to in the contract. The following are exceptions to the rule that travel between home and work is not considered worktime:
An employee who is already home from work is called out on an emergency call and must travel a substantial distance to get there.
An employee has a special assignment for one day in another city and travels outside the regular workday to get there and back; however, travel time from home to an airport or railroad station is not compensable time.
Time spent traveling as part of an employee's daily work activity is compensable worktime. This includes travel from one job site to another or travel from a designated meeting place to a job site. However, the DOL has ruled that nonexempt employees may be paid a lower rate (as low as the minimum wage) when traveling from one job site to the next.
An employee's use of an employer's vehicle for commuting and other incidental travel is not part of the employee's principal activities and is not compensable time.
Travel by an employee who will be away from home overnight is worktime only during those periods that the travel coincides with the employee's regular working hours (e.g., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). This time is counted as hours worked even if it occurs on a non-working day (e.g., Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Travel outside regular working hours in a plane, boat, bus, or automobile is not hours worked. If employees use their own car instead of public transportation for travel away from home, the employer can count as hours worked either the time spent driving or the time that would have been spent on public transportation during regular working hours.

Example:
Edgar's employer has a Sunday through Saturday workweek, and Edgar is regularly scheduled to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with one hour off for lunch. One week, Edgar must travel on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (ET) to go from Atlanta to San Francisco for a Monday meeting and then work his regularly scheduled 40 hours from Monday through Friday. Edgar then returns home to Atlanta from San Francisco on Friday, leaving at 5 p.m. (PT) and arriving in Atlanta at 1 a.m. (ET) on Saturday. He is entitled to 5 hours of overtime compensation for the week because his travel time on Sunday (minus 1 hour for his regular lunch break) must be added to his regular work hours. His travel on Friday/Saturday is outside his regular work schedule, therefore he has a total of 45 hours worked for the week.
Preliminary and Postliminary Activities
According to the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, activities that are "preliminary or postliminary" to an employee's principal work activity are not compensable worktime unless a contract or the employer's customs makes them compensable. Preliminary time is the time the employee spends getting ready for work. Postliminary time is the time the employee spends getting ready to leave work. This is not considered worktime unless the activities engaged in are essential to the employee's principal work activity.

If employees must change clothes for work on the employer's premises because of state law or company policy, the time spent changing clothes is hours worked. If the time spent changing is for the employees' benefit, it is not worktime. If employees are required by law or policy to shower or "clean up" after work, the time spent cleaning up is compensable worktime, unless the time spent is considered de minimis time.

Any time spent by an employee waiting for or receiving medical attention on the employer's premises or at the employer's direction during regular working hours is compensable worktime. Also, compulsory medical exams are compensable worktime whenever they occur.

De minimis time is time worked by an employee before or after regular working hours that is so insignificant it cannot be definitely measured. This time is not counted as worktime. To avoid employer abuses, the time period must be indefinite and last no longer than a few seconds or minutes.