Compensating Non-Exempt Employees for Overnight Travel
Generally, employees classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act should not travel overnight due to overtime considerations. Overnight travel for non-exempt employees may be permitted in limited circumstances, as long as the time recorded and paid is in compliance with FLSA pay rules. The purpose of this policy is to state the pay rules that apply to non-exempt employees when traveling on university business.
The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) provides specific guidelines for compensating Non-Exempt Employees if they are required to travel overnight as part of their job. There are two major parts to the process: Payment for Travel and Payment for Hours Worked.
If non-exempt employees are required to travel overnight, they must be compensated accordingly. Non-exempt employees must be compensated for travel, or time spent waiting to travel (such as waiting in an airport or a bus station), when the travel time occurs during their regular work schedule, regardless of the day of the week. For example: If a non-exempt employee is normally scheduled from 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday – Friday, and they are travelling on a Saturday from 3:00pm – 7:00pm, they would need to be compensated for the 1.5 hours of travel that crossed the employee’s work day schedule (3:00 PM to 4:30 PM).
The same overtime rules will apply and all travel hours within the employee’s regular work schedule will be used for overtime calculations.
When an employee travels between two or more time zones, the time zone associated with the point of departure should be used to determine whether the travel falls within the normal work schedule.
Non-exempt employees need not be compensated for travel time, or time spent waiting for travel, if the hours are outside of the employee’s regular work schedule, unless they are actually performing work during the travel or waiting to travel time period. If they do perform work during the travel or waiting time, then they must be compensated for the hours spent working, even if those hours fall outside of their regular work schedule.
While away on overnight travel, non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours that are spent working. This includes:
- Driving a vehicle for work purposes, regardless of whether it intersects with an employee’s regular work schedule.
- Riding as a passenger if the employee is performing work such as responding to e-mail or making/taking business related calls.
- Time spent attending authorized conferences or meetings.
- Required attendance at meals or meal breaks where work is performed.
- Required attendance at social functions.
- Any time that an employee is required to attend or work an event or conference
The same overtime rules will apply and all hours worked will be used for overtime calculations.
If managers have questions regarding travel pay they should consult with their appropriate Human Resources Business Partner.
Date last revised: February 22, 2016