Travel Time Wages
You probably know that your employer is supposed to pay you for overtime, but you might not know that they are often required to pay you for travel time as well. While the state of Georgia does not have laws about travel time wages, the federal government does. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that applies to many employees in Georgia. If you are covered by the FLSA, your employer is required by law to pay you for travel time that occurs during your normal working hours. If you think that your employer is not properly paying you for travel time, you should contact a skilled advocate as soon as possible. Knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour attorney Brandon A. Thomas can help you pursue the money that you should have been paid by your employer.When Travel Time Wages Must Be Paid for Daily Travel
The FLSA clarified the specific standards regarding what counts as travel time through an amendment called the “Portal to Portal Act.” An employee’s regular commute to and from work is not usually counted as travel time that must be paid. However, there are exceptions. If an employee has already returned home for the day, and then they get called into work at a distant location later, that will usually count as travel time. For example, if someone works at headquarters and goes home, and then there is an emergency at a branch 100 miles away that they are called to address, the time getting to the emergency location should be paid.
If your job involves going to different locations, your travel time during the day should be paid. However, this generally does not count the time spent at the beginning of your shift going to the initial location and the time going home from the final location. But it will count the time during the day traveling between locations. Thus, if you start and end the day at headquarters, but you travel to branches during your shift, you should be paid for the time between headquarters and branches and between the branches. You are not entitled to be paid for the time between your home and headquarters and vice versa.
If you are sent on day-long travel directly to another city, you should be paid at least for the travel time in excess of your normal commute. For example, if you are going to a training two hours away, and your normal commute is half an hour, you should be paid for an hour and a half. This is assuming that you do not go to your normal workplace at any time during the day.When Travel Time Wages Must Be Paid for Overnight Travel
If you are going somewhere for more than a day, the FLSA is also specific about when that travel time needs to be paid. The law states that employees must be paid for their travel time if they are traveling during their regular working hours. Therefore, if you work nine to five and are traveling from nine to noon, that travel time needs to be paid. However, if you work nine to five and are traveling from six to nine at night, that travel time does not need to be paid.
One complicated part of these rules is that while you are only paid during your usual work hours, you will be paid even if it is not on a usual work day. Thus, if you work Monday to Friday nine to five, and you travel on a Saturday, as long as it is between nine and five, it should be compensated.
An exception to this is if you are working during travel time. No matter what time you are traveling, if you are working during that time, you should be paid.
As you can see, these laws are detailed and not always straightforward, and not all jobs or employers are covered by these laws in the first place. This is why it is crucial that if you have any concerns about being paid for your travel time, you should contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible.Contact an Atlanta Lawyer to Assert Your Rights as an Employee
If you believe that you should have been paid for travel time, you should talk to an attorney to determine your options. You may be able to compel your employer to pay you for past unpaid travel time. At the Law Offices of Brandon A. Thomas, we are fluent in Spanish and represent clients in Atlanta and other areas of Georgia. Call us today at (678) 330-2909 or use the form on this website to schedule your free, confidential consultation. We also handle claims involving minimum wage violations and other areas of wage and hour laws.