Traveling is an essential part of certain jobs and careers. While your employers are not required to pay for ordinary commutes to work, they must generally pay all non-exempt employees for any travel time within the scope of their employment.
Work-related travel often includes:
- Visiting customers and clients
- Making deliveries
- Attending meetings or other work-related events
- Visiting other company-owned locations
- Traveling to a worksite (this is common in construction)
- Traveling for sales purposes
- Long-distance or long-term business travel
Exempt employees vs. non-exempt employees
Non-exempt employees are workers who are entitled to federal minimum wage and overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours within a workweek. While Non-exempt employees are typically paid on an hourly basis, they are sometimes paid a salary. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime and may not receive reimbursement for travel time if their employers choose not to pay it.
If you're not sure whether you're an exempt or non-exempt employee, it's best to speak to your company's human resources department.
Which type of travel must employers pay for?
If you are a non-exempt employee, your employer is required to pay for your work-related travel time under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, whether or not an employee must be paid for travel time depends on the type of travel. Here are some examples:
- Traveling between home and work. "Ordinary home to work travel" or commuting is not within the scope of your employment. There is no law requiring employers to pay non-exempt employees for this type of travel.
- Home to work travel in another city. Non-exempt employees may be compensated for travel time when traveling to a company location or worksite in another city. This must be a special "one-day" assignment outside of an employee's normal work location.
- Traveling within the workday. Employers must pay you for any travel time that occurs within your workday. For example, if your workday starts at 9 a.m. and you clock in at that time, but you're asked to travel to another job site, you are traveling within the scope of your employment.
- Overnight travel. Your employer typically must pay for your travel time if you travel long distance and must be away from home overnight.
What do I do if my travel time wasn't compensated?
If you're a non-exempt employee and you weren't compensated for work-related travel, it's important that you discuss your matter with an experienced Ohio wage law attorney. The legal team at Nilges Draher LLC has fought to recover unpaid travel time for thousands of non-exempt employees. This includes:
- Settlements of $4.9 million, $1 million, and $960,000 for construction workers who were not paid for long-distance travel that required an overnight stay.
- $1.5 million settlement for home health care workers who were not paid for travel time within the scope of their employment.
Our law firm is based in Northeast Ohio, but we serve clients across Ohio and the United States. To schedule your free and confidential case evaluation, contact us online or call us.