Are my travel hours included in my 40 hour work week?

I live in Oregon and work in Arizona and My Company pays to fly me to that location on a weekly basis. I work 4 X 10 hour days but my start and end times are not mandated. I am an exempt employee. My company pays my travel time at a much lower rate than my normal hours. I am also required to travel to the customer site for work at any time during the week, so I do not have any regular hours of work/operation.
Are my travel hours included in my 40 hour work week or are they separate and do not apply to overtime?
If my travel hours are included in my 40 hour work week, then how do I account for overtime travel? Is the overtime rate for these hours, 1.5 times the lower travel rate or 1.5 times my normal hourly rate?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 3, 2012 06:21 AM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
First of all, if you were an exempt employee, you would not be paid by the hour and would not be entitled to overtime. The term "exempt" refers to employees who are exempt from the general requirements mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Since your company appears to be paying you on an hourly basis, I will assume that you are a non-exempt employee, since most exemptions require that the employee be paid a salary rather than an hourly wage.
Because of the Portal to Portal Pay Act, travel time to and from work is not compensable. I am attaching a 9th circuit case that discusses this concept. Traveling to a customer's location in the middle of a work day would be a different situation, because it would not constitute commuting to or from work. I would suggest that you take a look at the U.S. Department of Labor website for further information about the Fair Labor Standards Act.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Aug 6, 2012 12:26 PM [EST]
Attachment: 9th_2010_travel_time.pdf

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