Posted by Tamara
Kentucky employers ask, “Exactly what is the definition of paid travel time, and does it count toward total hours, including overtime?”
Many employers find paid travel time a confusing subject, because the federal regulations regarding this type of time are quite complex.
The basic definition of paid travel time is time an employee spends on the job between service calls. For example, an hourly worker drives from her house to the company warehouse. Once there, she is given a list of service calls to make using the company vehicle. According to federal regulations, her drive from home to the first work site (the warehouse), and the drive from the last work site (the warehouse) to home do not qualify as paid travel time. The time spent traveling between service calls, however, is considered to be “all in a day’s work” and must be counted as work time.
For example, Jose is a Kentucky service technician like the employee described above. He works 30 hours this week and spends an additional 10 hours traveling between sites. Those 10 hours count as part of his work week, so Jose will be paid for 40 hours.
It is legal in some cases for employers to pay a lower rate for travel time, but these hours still count toward total paid time. If the employee works more than 40 hours in one week, he or she is entitled to overtime pay. According to FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) overtime equals 1.5 times the usual hourly rate. If the employee is paid two different rates, calculating overtime pay can get tricky.
Alicia, a carpenter, works for $20 per hour and is paid $10 per hour for travel time. This week Alicia worked 25 hours and traveled 25 hours. Her total is 50 hours, entitling her to 10 hours of overtime pay. Her overtime pay is calculated using the average rate for the week multiplied by 1.5. Alicia’s average rate for the week is $15 per hour, so her overtime rate is $22.50 per hour.
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