Traveling Workers Home Visits Don't Qualify for OT

April 20, 2005 ( - Federal officials say employers don't have to put workers sent out of town for long periods back on the clock when they voluntarily travel from their work sites to their homes.

In a Department of Labor (DoL) opinion letter recently made available, officials said the workers’ voluntary trips back home did not qualify as compensable work time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

“Travel at the employee’s own option and for his or her sole convenience need not be considered hours worked under the FLSA,” wrote the Office of Enforcement Policy Fair Labor Standards Team, according to a report.

The employer requesting the letter ruling sends crews of hourly workers on out-of-town assignments lasting two weeks or more. During the job assignments, the employees, who qualify for overtime, typically work for 10 consecutive days and take off the following four days. The employer pays the employees for travel time to and from the out-of-town work sites at the beginning and end of the projects.

More information about the FLSA is  here .