If an employee must travel hours to a differentwork location everyday, are they entitled to pay for this travel time?

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If an employee must travel hours to a differentwork location everyday, are they entitled to pay for this travel time?

He travels to a different location (store) everyday. Some days he is 2 to 3 hours from home. As this is required for his work; should the company pay for travel time or is this considered his commute and is traveled on his own time? They don’t pay mileage and only pay part of his gas.

Asked on November 16, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A long commute--even a 2- 3 hour one--if taken the same place of business, the employee's primary place of business, would not be paid; it would be part of the commute to and from work, which is not itself  work time. However, if an employee is traveling to numerous different locations--a different store everyday--then most of that travel should be considered work time and be compensible. If the employee goes into his primary work location first, then to the other store, all the travel to the other store would be be work time. If he goes directly to/from his home to the store, then whatever is the amount over the amount of time he'd have to spend going to his primary work location or his local area headquarters, etc. would be work time. I.e. if it would take him 45 minutes to get to the headquarters location he nominally works out of, but takes him 1 1/2 hours to get to the store he'll be stationed at, he should be compensated for 45 minutes, which is the difference between his nominal "normal" commute and the business travel time.


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