Nonexempt employees are entitled to be paid while traveling to other locations to conduct University business, minus regular commute time. Purposes for such travel include, among others, attending conferences and participating in professional meetings in other cities away from the employee's normal worksite location. Absences from work to travel and attend conferences or professional meetings are not considered to be leaves of absences, but rather part of an employee's regular work activities. Travel time with an overnight stay is handled differently than travel time that occurs in the same day, in accordance with federal law and system regulation.
Travel Time With an Overnight Stay
Travel that keeps a nonexempt employee away from home overnight is counted as hours worked if the employee travels during normal duty hours or corresponding hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Travel time that occurs outside of normal duty hours will not be considered working time, unless actual work is being performed during that time.
- Example #1:
- An employee who normally works Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. travels on University business between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday on a trip that includes an overnight stay. The travel that occurs between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. is considering working time.
- Example #2:
- This same employee has travel time that occurs after 5:00 p.m. on a Saturday (which would not typically be considered working time), but during that travel the employee is using a laptop computer to complete a required work-related project or respond to work-related emails. The travel that occurs after 5:00 p.m. is considered working time, but only because the employee was actually performing work.
Note that in both of these examples, a supervisor can adjust the nonexempt employee's schedule for the remainder of the workweek (in these cases the remaining days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) to avoid the accrual of overtime or compensatory time.
Travel Time Without an Overnight Stay
Travel performed both during and outside normal duty hours in association with a one-day assignment in another city that does not require the nonexempt employee to stay overnight is counted as hours worked. Example: An employee who departs on a trip to another city for a one-day assignment at 7:00 a.m. and arrives back from that trip at 6:00 p.m. will be paid for all hours of travel and work. Time that will not be considered working time in this scenario would be regular commute time, appropriate time for lunch, and other time not considered to be work-related (sightseeing, shopping for personal items, etc.)
- Travel time that is considered to be the nonexempt employee's official duty, such as driving a truck or bus, is counted as work time regardless of whether performed during or outside the employee's normal duty hours.
- Requests to attend conferences or professional meetings will be submitted to the department head for approval. Travel time issues with nonexempt employees should be discussed in advance of the travel.