Human Resource Blog

Where HR Professionals Seek Answers

A Practical Source For Your Daily HR Needs.Lets Build An HR Blog Community Together! Want To Share Your HR Knowledge Or Gain Knowledge Through Other Professionals?Lets Discuss HR!


Travel Pay for Hourly Employee in Texas

In Texas, does an employer have to pay an hourly employee travel time? Example, if the employer needs the hourly employee to report for a day to a different company location in another city, should the employee be paid their hourly wage for travel time to that location? If so, is this in addition to any mileage reimbursement that is paid?

Under federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, employees must be paid for travel beyond the normal commuting area. Simply paying the employees mileage is not enough. Suppose Kelly normally drives 15 miles to work each day. One day, the employer requires Kelly to report to a city 75 miles away, for training. Kelly is almost certainly entitled to payment for the time spent traveling the extra 60 miles. She may be entitled to payment for the entire time, if the travel occurs during business hours and she is driving.

The US Department of Labor has developed an elaws advisor on this topic. This online questionaire helps employers determine when travel must be paid. Find more about it here:

Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 at 9:03 am and is filed under
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Responses to “Travel Pay for Hourly Employee in Texas”

  1. T Jones Says:

    I work from 8:00am to 4:40pm my Texas empolyer sent me out of state for training. They are saying that since my travel time falls outside of my normal core hours they are not required to pay me travel time. My flight back which was scheduled by my employer leaves at 8:00pm tonight and arrives back into Texas at 11:00pm but my training class is over at 5:00pm.

  2. Caitlin Says:

    Hi T! Unfortunately, yes, this is correct. Texas follows the federal law on travel time for hourly employees. Under that law, you must be paid for all the time you work while out of town — so if the meeting ends at 5 pm, you must be paid until 5 pm. (Meals with clients and driving also count as work time.)

    If you travel between 8 am and 4:40 pm on any day of the week, you must be paid for the travel time, including time spent waiting in an airport. However, a loophole in the federal FLSA permits an employer to not pay the employee for being a passenger in a plane, train or auto if the travel occurs outside of the employees regular work hours.

    We agree that this sucks — given the conditions on planes today, employees should be paid double for flying. But what your employer is doing is legal.HTH,and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  3. Homer Garcia Says:

    Instead of paying our hourly pay of 2 hours for travel time the company wants to pay $25.00 per diem instead. Can the company legaly do this?

  4. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Homer! No, usually not. Per diem usually refers to money the employer gives the worker for meals and/or a hotel room when traveling out of town. If you are legally entitled to payment for travel time, the employer cannot avoid it by paying you a per diem. Contact the Texas Workforce Commission to see if you are entitled to payment. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Caitlin

  5. Heather Says:

    My Texas employer reqires me to attend meetings for networking at various times of day. He wants to pay me my hourly wage for the meetings however the time it takes me to drive there he wants only to pay me 0.40 on the mile (I use my own vehicle) instead of my hourly wage. Is this legal? So for example I have to go to a meeting 20 miles away stay for and hour then head back to the office. I get paid 0.40 for the 20 miles there and then get paid my wage for the hour I am there, 0.40 for the 20 miles to return.

  6. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Heather! No, this is probably not correct. If you are traveling from the office to the meeting site and back to the office, you should be paid for time in transit between the two worksites. Under the federal FLSA, this travel is “all in a days work” meaning it is paid work time.
    If you were at an all day meeting, and went directly from home to the meeting and returned home without stopping at the office, you would not be entitled to payment for the trip unless the meeting was in another city. If you boss refuses to pay you for this travel time, you should contact the TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) or the US Department of Labor. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlinb

  7. Sonya C Says:

    We send employees to work in an out of town location for a week at a time. On the drive there we pay all of them regular time (the drive during their normal work hours). On the drive back, at the end of the week, do we have to pay every employee of just the employee driving? And do we have to pay overtime if they have worked more then 40 hrs for the drive time or can it be paid at the regular hourly rate?

  8. hrlady Says:

    Hi Sonya,
    Federal legislation states travel away from home is compensable work time when it cuts across the employee’s workday. The time is compensable hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours and during the corresponding hours on nonworking days. So, if an employee regularly works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday the travel time during these hours is work time on Saturday and Sunday as well as on the normal work days.

    If the drive home is during regular working hours the time is compensable. However, if the drive home is not during regular working hours only the driver must be compensated. Passengers must be compensated only if they perform business related activities during the travel time home.

    FLSA overtime rules require employers to pay nonexempt employees one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in a given workweek. Hours worked include travel time.

  9. P. Roberts Says:

    If an employee is on call for the weekend, does the employer pay travel time to and from the property? If they are hourly how much travel time came be charged?

  10. hrlady Says:

    Generally, home to work travel is not compensable under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, compensation for on call work depends on whether the employee is “waiting to be engaged” or “engaged to wait”. The DOL provides guidelines for travel and on call compensation in its “Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)”. HTH!

  11. S. Andrade Says:

    We have hourly employees and occasionally we ask them to make site visits to locations (within the same city in Texas we operate). We always pay hourly wages for drive time but should we also pay them for mileage driven? They do use their own vehicles.

  12. hrlady Says:

    There is no federal or Texas law that requires employers to pay employee’s travel expenses when employees use their own vehicles for business travel. However, many employers choose to offer some type of mileage reimbursement for employees who drive their personal vehicles for work purposes. It is completely up to the employer to establish guidelines regarding this benefit.

  13. AA Says:

    Our crew travel to various work sites each day. Some travel can take half the day. They are paid an hourly work rate and a reduced travel rate when they are commuting to other job sites, picking up supplies, etc. during the normal work day. Do we need a wage agreement for the reduced travel rate (which is more than minimum pay) and are there any other considerations?

  14. hrlady Says:

    HI AA,
    There is neither federal nor Texas law that requires employers to provide employees with written wage notices. But, when an employee is paid different rates for different duties then providing a written notice outlining the different rates is advisable. Doing so documents the different rates for both the employer’s and employee’s protection. The most notable consideration is the calculation of overtime when using different pay rates. When an employee in a single workweek works at two or more different types of work for which different straight-time rates have been established, the regular rate for that week is the weighted average of such rates. Basically, the earnings from all such rates are added together and this total is then divided by the total number of hours worked at all jobs. Feel free to ask a question or review our previous posts on this issue. HTH!

Leave a Reply

  • [ Back ]
  • WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

Home Ask a Question Archives

© 2008, All Rights Reserved