If your commute takes you to different places, or if travel on behalf of your employer is part of your job, you may be entitled to pay for those hours spent traveling. Contact the Illinois commuting law attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center today.
Certain types of workers – generally classified as “white collar” employees – are not entitled to compensation for travel or commute time. But for most other employees, known under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as non-exempt employees, commute and travel time can be compensable in a number of circumstances. As a general rule, time spent commuting to and from the job is not considered working hours, and thus compensation for those hours is not required. However, there are numerous exceptions to this general rule.
Where an employee performs regular work duties during the commute, the time spent performing those duties may be compensable as hours worked. Where an employer requires an employee to perform an errand on the way to or from home, the time spent performing that errand is also compensable. Time spent commuting to a distant location for an unusual purpose, such as travel to off-site training seminars or for an employment-related emergency, is also entitled to compensation.
Some workers have jobs that require a significant amount of travel, including traveling to different job sites during the course of the workday. For these workers, travel to different job sites throughout the day forms a principal part of employment, and is compensable. Travel from home to the first job site is generally not compensable, unless it is considered outside the employee’s normal commuting or is a special assignment for the employer.
More substantial work trips, such as those that require all-day or overnight travel, have additional rules governing compensation. Travel to the airport is treated like a commute and is not compensable time. However, hours spent flying and traveling to and from the destination airport are compensable hours. For overnight trips, travel time is compensable only if it occurs during regular work hours.
Employers often do not advise employees regarding the rules governing commuting and travel time. Sometimes travel or errands are called for irregularly, and are not properly documented when payroll is processed. Workers should document all hours spent performing work-related travel, and any commuting outside the normal commute from home to the office or factory.
Commuting and travel issues can be complex, and often depend on the factual circumstances of the specific job. While sometimes commuting and travel wages are denied due to inadvertence or because they rarely occur, in other cases employers knowingly deny compensation that is due for recurring travel situations. Consulting with experienced Illinois commuting law attorneys can help to clarify these sometimes-complicated issues. The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center understand these laws and all of your options, and will help you obtain full compensation for commuting and travel time as quickly as possible. For a free, confidential consultation, call our offices today at (312) 869-4095.