Ask the Lawyer: March 2011

What travel expenses are we required under the law to pay when employees attend meetings on behalf of our practice?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains rules of compensation of non-exempt employees’ travel time. Although normal commuting time is not compensated, a non-exempt employee who runs a business errand during the commute must be paid from the time of the errand. Any travel time between practice locations during the normal workday must be compensated; however, time from the last stop to home is considered commuting time and not paid. Generally, an employee is paid for travel time to and from a business day trip, but does not have to be paid for the regular commuting time involved or meal breaks. The employer does not have to pay non-exempt employees for time spent at seminars or training as long as the following criteria are met: (1) the event is outside normal hours; (2) it is voluntary; (3) it is not job-related; and (4) no work is performed during that time.

This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The information contained in this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between Karen McKeithen Schaede Attorney at Law, PLLC and the reader.