Your Missouri employer pays you hourly wages and sometimes requires you to travel from one worksite to another, to conferences and trade shows, and to meetings with vendors. Your supervisor says time spent in the vehicle does not count as part of your workday, and as a result, you must often stay after business hours to make up the time. Is your employer cheating you out of your rightfully earned overtime pay?
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the Fair Labor Standards Act specifically addresses when a nonexempt employee’s travel time is eligible for compensation.
At the direction of the employer
Any time you drive somewhere because your employer requires you to, you should be compensated for the time. For example, if your supervisor schedules you to attend a meeting at the corporate office, which is an hour’s travel in good traffic, he or she has to pay you for the time you spent getting there.
Even if your work-related trip is taken outside of normal business hours, if you are driving, your time must be paid. If you are a passenger, though, your employer is not required to pay you for any travel that is done outside of normal work hours unless you are working during the trip. Any time spent working must be compensated. Also, if you are driving, but you had the option to take public transportation, your employer has the authority to decide whether or not to pay you for the time you spent traveling outside of normal business hours.
During normal business hours
Whether you are driving or not, you must be compensated for all travel that occurs during normal business hours in the course of your work duties. Travel to and from work does not count as work time. Because there are some exceptions to the rule, this general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.