Are employees entitled to pay for commuting time?

Determining what constitutes travel time is a fact-sensitive inquiry that may not be all that simple to analyze in all circumstances. Here are some scenarios where drive time has been found to be compensable:

  • If an employee must attend an offsite conference or meeting, the time spent traveling to and from the meeting in excess of the employee’s normal commute is compensable.

  • Any time spent in reaching the airport or train station that is over and above the time spent in the employee’s normal commute is compensable.

  • Travel to a remote work site from an employee’s home may be compensable if the time spent goes beyond the employee’s normal commute.

  • Once an employee reports to work, any work-related travel during the day is compensable. The same goes for time traveling for a special assignment or emergency outside of regular hours.

Finally, remember that California requires employers to record all hours worked, including travel time. And because any time spent traveling is compensable, all compensable travel time in California counts toward the number of hours worked in calculating any required overtime premium pay.


Should you have any questions about commuting time pay or any other employment law issue please reach out to Christopher Taylor at (626) 219-6008.

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