3.6.3: Travel Policy
Some nonexempt positions within Spalding University require travel. This section of the policy will address the pay rules that apply to nonexempt employees when traveling on University business.
Employees in positions classified as nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are eligible for compensation for the time they spend traveling. The compensation an employee receives depends on the kind of travel and whether the travel time takes place within normal work hours.
Normal Work Hours Defined
“Normal work hours,” for the purposes of this policy, are defined as 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This definition applies to normal workdays (Monday through Friday) and to weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
Travel Time Defined
“Travel time” is defined as including the time the employee arrives at the airport to the time the employee reaches his or her destination. If an employee is traveling to a location, then the destination is either the hotel or the worksite (if the employee travels directly from the airport to work). If the employee is returning home from a location, the destination is the airport of final arrival.
If an employee is traveling by air and no flights are available from or to the airport nearest the employee’s residence, then travel between the employee’s residence and the airport is considered travel time and is eligible for compensation in accordance with the policy guidelines below.
Travel between home and work or between the hotel and worksite is considered normal commuting time and is not eligible for compensation.
If an employee requests a specific travel itinerary or mode of transportation that is different from the one authorized by the University(e.g., electing to drive when the employee was authorized to fly), only the estimated travel time associated with the itinerary and mode of transportation that has been authorized will be eligible for compensation.
When an employee travels between two or more time zones, the time zone associated with the point of departure should be used to determine whether the travel falls within normal work hours.
All authorized travel time spent driving an automobile (as the driver, not as a passenger) is treated as work hours, regardless of whether the travel takes place within normal work hours or outside normal work hours. An employee will receive his or her regular hourly rate for all travel.
Examples of travel time compensation:
HOME TO WORK TRAVEL – In general, the FLSA does not consider ordinary commuting as hours worked. Ordinary commute time is not compensable.
Compensable: Talking on a phone for work, running errands for work (e.g., picking up supplies) while traveling from home to work or vice versa is considered compensable if it is work related.
Non compensable: Ordinary travel from home to work is not considered hours worked.
TRAVEL DURING THE WORK DAY/IN-TOWN – In general, time spent traveling as part of the University’s principal activity counts as hours worked (e.g., travel from job site to job site is compensable.)
Compensable: Travel during the work day as part of the University’s principal activity counts as hours worked. (e.g., travel from job site to job site).
OVERNIGHT TRAVEL – In general, whether travel time counts as hours worked when an employee travels overnight, depends on whether the travel occurs within the employee’s normal work schedule. Travel time that occurs within the employee’s normal work schedule is compensable. This is true for hours worked on regular working days, during normal working hours, and during the corresponding hours on nonworking days.
- Any portion of authorized travel that occurs within an employee’s normal work schedule counts as hours worked. Travel on non-work days (like weekends) also counts as hours worked if it occurs within the employee’s normal work hours.
- Driving a vehicle, regardless of whether the travel takes place within or outside normal work hours, counts as hours worked. The act of driving is considered manual labor activity which must be counted as hours worked if it is for the benefit of the University.
- If the travel time is outside of normal work hours and the employee is a passenger in a vehicle and work is performed, the travel time is compensated.
- If an employee is required to attend meals, social events, etc., that time is counted as hours worked.
- Time spent waiting at the airport counts as hours worked if it occurs within normal work hours.
- Any work while traveling, which an employee is required to perform, is counted as hours worked (e.g., answering e-mails, taking business related phone calls.)
- If an employee is required to ride as an assistant or helper in an automobile, the travel time counts as hours worked.
- Regular meal periods do not count as hours worked.
- Riding as a passenger outside of normal work hours, via airplane, train, boat, bus or automobile does not count as hours worked. In other words, the act of riding as a passenger is not considered work.
- Time spent sleeping does not count as hours worked.
- Time spent waiting at the airport outside of normal work hours does not count as hours worked.
- Travel between home and work or between hotel and worksite is considered normal commuting time and does not count as hours worked.
Calculating and Reporting Travel Time
Non-exempt employees are responsible for accurately tracking, calculating and reporting travel time in the University’s time keeping system.
Meal periods should be deducted from all travel time, unless the employee is required to attend a work-related function during the meal period.
If an employee requests a specific travel itinerary or mode that is different from the one authorized, only the estimated travel time associated with the authorized schedule, route and mode of transportation should be reported in the University’s time keeping system.
Travel time should be calculated by rounding up to the nearest quarter hour.
An exempt employee is not subject to the travel time provisions of the FLSA. Since an exempt employee is not paid per hour, she/he does not receive additional pay for time spent traveling.
(See also Travel Reimbursement Policy)