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Non-Exempt Business Travel Guidelines

  • General Rules

    • Excluding normal commuting time, employees should be compensated for all travel unless it is:

      • overnight;
      • outside of regular work hours;
      • on a common carrier; or
      • where no work is done.
    • An employer may rearrange the work schedule within the work week (Saturday – Friday) to avoid additional compensation hours which may occur as a result of travel time or compensable commuting time as described below. Whenever possible, the employer and employee should discuss the possibility of rearranging the work schedule prior to departure.  However, special rules apply to special situations.
  • Commute Time: Generally, an employee is not at work until he or she reaches the work site and begins working.

    • If the employee is required to report to a meeting place where he or she is to pick up materials, equipment, or other employees, or to receive instructions before traveling to the work site, time is compensable once the employee reaches the meeting place.
    • If the employee drives a state vehicle, to and from work, he or she does not have to be compensated for that commuting time as long as*:
      • driving the vehicle between home and work is strictly voluntary and not a condition of employment;
      • the vehicle is a type normally used for commuting;
      • the employee incurs no costs for driving the employer's vehicle or parking it at home; and
      • the work sites are within normal commuting area of the employer's place of business. 

* Unless, there is a contract, custom or practice providing that an employee's regular daily travel time between home and the workplace is compensable. If such contract, custom or practice exists, the time is compensable.

  • Travel During the Workday - General Rule:

    • Travel as a part of the employer's principal activity must be counted as hours worked. If the travel is for the benefit of the employer, it is compensable.
      * Example: the employee travels from job site to job site during the workday.
    • If the employee stops at a shop or the home office for his or her own convenience, the time traveling from the office to the site is not compensable.
      * Example: the employee leaves home for the work site but stops at a shop for his or her own convenience.
    • Time spent by the driver in picking up other passengers and transporting them to a specific location is work time and therefore compensable.
    • Time spent by passengers traveling in a car outside the normal workday hours is not compensable.
  • Out of Town Travel - Special One-day Assignment

    • If the employee is assigned to work in another city for one day and the travel is performed for the employer's benefit and at its request, it is part of the principal activity of the employer and therefore is compensable. This is true even if the employee is traveling by common carrier since this is a special assignment and is not ordinary home to work travel. The assignment is performed for the employer's benefit and at the employer's special request to meet the needs of the particular and unusual assignment.
    • However, in this special one-day assignment travel time between the employee's home and the airport or railway station is home to work travel time and therefore not compensable, if outside normal work hours.
  • Overnight Travel

    Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee's regular work day hours and is compensable.

    • The time is not only hours worked on regular work days during normal working hours but also during corresponding hours on non-work days. If this travel occurs during normal work hours on non-work days (i.e. Saturday or Sunday for an employee who works Monday through Friday) the time is also compensable.
    • Overnight travel that occurs outside of the employee's normal working hours is not compensable whether it is on a common carrier or as a passenger in a car. The driver of the vehicle must be compensated as driving is work time.
    • * Example: Employee drives to the airport to attend a seminar and has two co–workers as passengers with him. If the trip is made before or after normal work hours, only the driver receives compensation as only the driver is working. If the trip is made during normal work hours, all three employees are compensated because travel during normal work time is compensable.
    • Time spent at a motel with freedom to use time for the employee's own purposes is not compensable.
    • Time Zone Changes – If the time zone changes during the travel day, the hours should be calculated on the "actual" hours when calculating compensable time on travel days. A department may wish to use Central Standard Time (CST) for travel days to assist in determining work hours. Local time should be used for all other days of the travel.

      * Example: Employee rode to the airport on a non-workday but within work hours and left at 9:00 a.m. CST and arrived at the hotel Noon Pacific Standard Time (PST) (which is 2:00 CST). Actual hours of travel are 5 hours (9 am to 2:00 CST).
      * Return flight the employee left at 10 a.m. PST (which is 8:00 CST) and returned to Lawrence at 1:00 p.m. CST (11:00 PST). Actual hours of travel are 5 hours.

         Example of Conference Travel

         Example of Work Travel

        * If you have questions,please contact Human Resources at 812-237-4114




Rankin Hall Room, 300
Terre Haute, IN 47809

Phone: (812) 237-4114

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.