Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Split-Worker Compensation

Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Split-Worker Compensation

The Wage and Hour Division clarified when travel during the work day is compensable and when it is not.

The Department of Labor issued a new guidance on December 31 detailing that employers are not required to pay travel time to employees who work from home for part of the work day, according to Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Inc.

The Wage and Hour Division addressed questions of compensation for partially remote work days and travel time in response by using two example scenarios—a worker who commutes to a personal event in the middle of their shift, and a worker who drives to a doctor’s appointment during a shift. In both examples, it was determined that compensation for travel is not owed to the employee.

“An employee does not need to be paid for hours that she is off duty—that is, periods when she is completely relieved from duties and that are long enough to enable her to effectively use the time for her own purposes,” said DOL administrator Cheryl Staton.

The guidance asserts that under the continuous workday doctrine principle, the time that an employee performs their principal tasks between the start and end of the workday is compensable. Travel between worksites during the workday is also compensable.

About the Author

Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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