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November 19, 2010
Compensable Travel and Training Time

In a BLR webinar entitled "Overtime: Legal Strategies for Whittling Down Your Payouts Without Breaking the Law," Harold (Hal) M. Brody, Esq., partner, and Fredric C. Leffler, Esq., Senior Counsel in the Labor and Employment Law Department of Proskauer Rose LLP described the times when travel and training time may be compensable or compensable as overtime:

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  • Whether travel time is compensable depends upon type of travel and its underlying purpose
  • Generally, travel time to and from work not compensable unless work is performed during travel
  • Most other travel time is considered time worked and must be considered for overtime and regular rate calculations
  • The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) will not consider time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on a train, plane, bus, boat, or car as compensable work time
  • But so long as the employee is not required to employ skills during travel, travel time may be at a rate of pay less than the employee's normal rate; as low as the minimum wage. If travel time is paid at a rate less than the employee's normal rate, it must be clearly outlined to the employees in advance
  • If work time plus travel time results in an overtime payment, the employee must receive travel pay at 1.5 times weighted average of his or her regular rate of pay and the travel time rate, if any
  • Travel time spent commuting in company-supplied cars is not compensable so long as:
    • Use of the employer's vehicle is strictly voluntary and not a condition of employment
    • The vehicle is the type that normally would e used for commuting
    • The employee incurs no cost for driving or parking the vehicle
    • The work sites are within the normal commuting area of the employer's establishment

On-the-job training generally counts as compensable. However, time attending employer-sponsored training programs and instruction meetings are not counted as hours worked if:

  • The meeting/trainings are held outside of working hours
  • Attendance is voluntary
  • The course, lecture, meeting or training is not directly related to the employee's job
  • The employee does no productive work during the training/meeting

Harold (Hal) M. Brody, Esq. is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department with Proskauer Rose LLP ( His practice is characterized by its diversity and he has represented employers in virtually every facet of labor and employment law. Fredric C. Leffler, Esq. is a Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Law Counseling and Training Group. He represents major private and not-for-profit employers in all aspects of labor and employment law.

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