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Should I be getting paid for travel time in Florida?

It is no secret that most state economies are struggling. As such, many workers have been laid off and fewer new employees hired on. In some cases, this means existing employees have been charged with picking up the slack. For some, this is satisfactory with one important exception: not getting paid for the increased workload. Travel time is one such task that can slip through the cracks entirely.

Admittedly, travel time can be complicated when it comes to Florida wage and hour laws. Here are some basics to consider.

The ordinary time you spend traveling to and from work is not considered compensable. However, if you are asked to perform a work-related duty during this time, then it is likely compensable. For example, if your boss asks you to stop at an office and pick up some papers on the way to work, then you should be compensated for the travel time.

If you have been given a special "one day assignment" requiring you to travel to another city or state, then this is considered work time and you should be compensated. However, your boss can deduct from this the regular time it takes you to travel to and from work on an ordinary day.

As you might imagine, any job activities requiring you to travel during the course of your workday is compensable. Examples include traveling from worksite to worksite and running work-related errands during the course of your day.

Finally, traveling away from your home and community is considered additional work time when it falls outside of your normal schedule. For example, if you are sent to a conference on your regular day off, you should be compensated for the hours you spend at the conference. The time spent actually traveling in a car, bus, train, airplane, etc. is not typically considered work time.

As a rule, you should keep meticulous documentation about the time you spend traveling for work. If you experience any problems receiving compensation for your working travel time, a wage and hour attorney may be able to help you.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)," accessed March 29, 2016

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