Do I Have To Pay Travel Time For Out Of State Training?
Question: Regarding employee training, if you pay to send an employee to a factory school, (airfare, room and board, and time in classroom) do you have to pay their travel time to and from the city it’s held in?
Answer: Assuming the training is mandatory, travel time when traveling away from home needs to be paid if the travel occurs during what would normally be the employee’s normal work hours since according to the Department of Labor, “The employee is simply substituting travel for other duties.” Even if the travel occurs on days other than normal workdays but occurs during normal working hours, the time is compensable. As an example, if an employee usually works 9am to 5pm, regardless of which days in the week he works, and he travels during those hours on any day, he must be paid. However, if the training is purely voluntary (meaning the employee can decline), the employee need not be paid for any travel time.
This response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, nor is this column a substitute for formal legal assistance. For help with particular legal needs, members are invited to consult with Brooke Duncan III of Adams and Reese LLP. Mr. Duncan can be reached at 504-585-0220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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