How should we pay hourly employees for travel and training time?

I am an hourly employee that punches in at 8 am and out at 4 pm M-F. I was recently sent out of state for training. The training was all day on Monday and Tuesday. We had to fly out (Company’s reservations) mid-day on Sunday. Am I entitled to compensation—either money or time—for flying out on my day off? Most other expenses were paid. Thanks.

Posted  01-12-2015

Ann Kiernan replies:

Under federal wage and hour regulations, travel away from home is worktime for nonexempt employees when it cuts across the employee’s workday, not only on regular working days but on nonworking days, too. “Thus, if an employee regularly works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday the travel time during these hours is worktime on Saturday and Sunday as well as on the other days.” 29 C.F.R. §785.39

So, it looks like you are entitled to pay for the time between 8 and 4 on Sunday that you were traveling. If that puts you over 40 hours for the week, you should get overtime, too. Your payroll department should fix this easily, but if they don’t, you can contact your federal and/or state wage and hour office for help. Good luck.

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About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.