The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes overtime pay, minimum wage, and other federal labor and employment laws. 

Since the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers pay their employees for all hours of work, employers must keep track of travel time for their nonexempt employees, so they can be paid fairly and legally fairly.  

Employees must be compensated for travel time unless it is normal commuting time, overnight, or no work is being performed.  

Workday traveling 

If traveling from one job site to another is part of a nonexempt employee’s workday, then their travel must be counted as hours worked. However, if an employee stops at any place for their personal convenience, then it is not compensable.   

Exempt employees are paid for the entire day, regardless of any personal stops or trips they make that day.  

Special one-day out of town travel 

If a nonexempt employee is assigned by their employer to work in another city for one day, then the travel time is compensable. Commuting time must also be counted towards travel time (e.g., the time it takes an employee to get to the airport). However, the time spent being a passenger on an airplane, bus, train, or automobile is not required to be compensated by the employer.  

Exempt employees are paid for the whole workday regardless of whether they are a passenger on a plane, bus, car, etc.   

Travel away from home community 

When travel keeps nonexempt employees away from home overnight, it is considered travel away from home community. During travel away from home, employees must be compensated for their hours worked on regular workdays and hours worked on nonworking days.  

For example, if an employee is assigned to go to dinner with a client, these are still considered work hours since the dinner would benefit the employer.  

Exempt employees are being paid for the entire workday even if they are not working.  

Problems can arise when employers do not properly track travel time, so it is important to understand the compensation for travel time under the FLSA. This can help employers fairly compensate their employees and stay out of potential legal matters.