Travel for work does not equal "work"


Sigh, mostly I think I just need to vent. My company was “acquired” recently, and I went from being salaried to hourly. I am supposed to be making the same annual salary. However, as an hourly non-exempt person now, it appears that according to federal guidelines, time spent “travelling” to out of town locations isn’t considered “work” so I don’t get paid for it. Now I know that I didn’t get “paid” for it when I was salaried, but I looked at it as a trade off for times when I got to work late for traffic, needed to leave early for a doctor’s appointment, etc. You know; it evens out in the end sort of thing. As an hourly employee, I see no reason why I should leave my home and family on Sunday to fly to a customer site, work all week, then fly home arriving late at night, if I only get paid for what I worked M-F, 8-5. I should donate all that time to the company cause, but not get paid if I need an hour off?
So I asked for clarification, and it turns out that the people I asked didn’t really know the answer, and the people they asked didn’t really know, so it has been asked like 20 times now, and I look like a big money grubbing pain in the butt to the new company. I think it is unfair to say travel to another city (which I wouldn’t be doing if it weren’t part of the job) but we won’t pay you for it. I’m all for being a team player, but that needs to work in my favor once in awhile too, you know? And I wasn’t the one making a big deal out of it, I just asked the question. I didn’t know it was going to start WW3 for them.
So no matter what, I look bad already (which makes me mad, because it wasn’t ME being the pain). My plan it to just drop it and hope they stop kicking it around. I just wanted to vent and see if anyone else thinks the federal policy is dumb beyond belief.


Call the labor board in your state and ask what the regulations are for Travel Time and non-exempt employees.


The regulations are correct. I checked many places. travel does not equal work unless it is done between normal working hours which are 8-5.


Then don’t do your traveling on a Sunday. Travel M-F. Really, it is pretty unusal to have an hourly employee doing much travelling. They should probably reconsider your classification of being hourly.


I agree. If your hours are 8-5 M-F, then only work those hours. Which means that if you travel, you start traveling at 8am on Monday and you stop traveling at 5pm Friday. If you are required to work outside those hours it is overtime.

And I would request a written corporate policy defining how this works - for your benefit AND theirs.



That’s aggravating. I can understand why you’re not wanting to work for free! My husband used to have to travel for business and was hourly, but he was always paid for his time.

Don’t worry about looking bad. You’re the only one who will stick up for yourself, you can’t count on anyone else to do it for you. Good luck!


Can you work during your travel time? I know my DH does a lot of computer work while he is in flight. When they require that electronics be shut off he usually has paperwork he can look over.
Just a thought


I have heard this before–I’m salaried, and I agree–when you’re salaried, it evens out. I don’t travel much anymore with my job–but a few years ago I did, so I understand. I think probably your main issue here is that you went from salaried to hourly. May I ask why they did that? If it evens out to the same salary–why did they do that? It’s actually less cost effective for your new employer to do this, because if you work overtime, they need to pay you more? (as long as it’s not on the weekends!):o

Just curious if you know why they did that. I might look for other work…I have been salaried most of my adult working life–so, to be hourly–I wouldn’t like it for such reasons as you indicate above. Suppose you have to meet a client (not sure what line of work you’re in) for dinner? Are they not paying you for that, either, because it’s after hours?:confused:


The new company doesn’t have any people that do what we do (engineering, application assitance, tech support, training, etc.). They are a larger burocracy (sp? sorry don’t have time to look it up) and they had to split our group into 2 cost centers. They have some high priced law group that determined a couple of years ago that tech support is an hourly function, again, according to federal guidelines. I got out in the group that is listed as tech support specifically because with my family I prefer to travel less. Less is not never though, and thus the problem. We travel to do customer training mostly. Going out to dinner is not uncommon, but we’ve always had to get approval for that anyway. The customer expects training to start at 8:00 Monday morning, as it is a week long class typically.

The policy is totally in accordance with federal guidelines and will not change (not asking it to). I just think it is the most rediculous thing i’ve ever heard. Why would an HOURLY employee of all people NOT expect to get paid for traveling out of town? My general impression is that hourly people don’t do nothing they don’t get paid for.


Start looking for another job. It’s just a raw deal. This is the reason why unions exist, capital is always trying to exploit labor because of the profit imperative.


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