Tips For Calculating Travel Time For Employees

Attention, all payroll personnel! Is the part of your job that requires calculating travel time the most dreaded part of your day? Do you know exactly what kind of travel time your company should be paying for? Goodness knows, you certainly don’t want hour and wage violations on your company’s record. The following will go through the most common travel solutions in regard to federal travel time rules for employee pay.

Overtime Calculations

When calculating a workweek’s overtime pay, paid travel hours must be counted by an employer.

Pay Rates For Travel Time

As long as it does not fall below minimum wage, it’s okay to pay your employee a different rate for travel time. Before they start traveling, however, this is something that should be in writing and clearly communicated.

Reimbursement for Mileage

Mileage reimbursement, for employers, is optional. But if mileage reimbursement is provided for wear and tear on the vehicle of the employee and for maintenance, the employer is also going to need to pay travel time to their employee. A standard IRS rate, which is typically recommended, is, per business mile driven, 53.5 cents. (This, of course, can differ depending on the price of gas.)

Per Diem

Generally, for employers, per diems are optional. Even if a per diem is provided, travel time pay still applies.

When an Employee Travels Overnight

Usually considered as compensable time, even when overnight travel for company business is involved, are work hours that are generally considered normal work hours. So that no matter what time of day it was when the employee was traveling, hours that are generally considered compensable are usually thought to be their normal work hours.

Unless an employee travels as a passenger (this means they have to be doing the driving), if they are traveling to a destination during non-working hours, compensation also applies.

Traveling To And From Another City In the Same Day

If, within one workday, an employee travels to and from another city, their time traveled counts as hours worked. However, the hours that the employee would ordinarily use to commute to work can be deducted by the employer.

Traveling from Worksite to Worksite

If, in order to accomplish a day’s work, an employee must travel, that should count as paid time. This commonly applies to maintenance and service employees.

Traveling from Work to Home and from Home to Work

No matter how far away the employee lives, there is no obligation on the part of the employer to compensate an employee for the time during which they commute back and forth to work. It is unpaid if it is part of their normal commuting time.

Make sure that when it comes to travel time pay that you have written policies in place. Be careful of passing off unto your employees the duty of keeping track of (for nonexempt employees) hours worked. Technically, that is the responsibility of the employer.

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