Ask the Expert, FLSA/Wages

Ask the Expert: Must We Pay for Travel Time to Workers’ Comp Hearing?

A worker had a work comp hearing in a different city than where he works (about a 2 hour drive). He is asking us to pay him for the time he couldn’t work because he had to travel and attend the work

Here is your answer from the experts at HR.BLR.com:

Thank you for your inquiry.

An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent travelling to and attending a workers’ compensation hearing. The key to identifying whether travel time during the workday is compensable is determining whether the employees are engaged in travel as part of the employer’s principal activity or for the convenience of the employer.

A workers’ compensation hearing is not considered part of the employer’s principal activity nor is it for the convenience of the employer.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that a minimum wage be paid for all hours an employee is “suffered or permitted” to work. The FLSA does not specifically define “hours worked” or place a limit on the number of hours an employee may work; it requires only that overtime be paid for any hours worked over 40.

Generally speaking, work time includes all time that employees spend engaged in the principal activities that they are employed to perform.